1) What are your fondest memories from the 1970 Cross Country team? What did you take from being a part of that team?
My fondest memory is the team itself. I was a freshman and frankly, given my experience and talent, I really didn’t belong on the team. But I really enjoyed the team atmosphere and the competitive nature of each of the upper classmen. Additionally, their very unique personalities….they were a great bunch of guys. – Tony Joy
Fondest memory, as I indicated in my bio would be the friendship/camaraderie I developed with my teammates during the summers of 1969/70 while preparing for those seasons. What I took from being a member of that team was self-confidence and the knowledge that hard work and tenacity is the key to achieving any goal. –Gary Rollings
As far as the memories of that time go, I have many of them. But probably most were of the “road trips”. We had a track club called the “River Bed Striders”and we traveled to track meets during the summer and the away CC meets during the fall. We had a lot of fun during those times. I remember a lot of sweat, some chaffing, and a lot of worn out running shoes. Many of these guys ran unbelievable amounts of mileage during the summer on their own, even by today’s standards. We had a solid coach with a vision to build a good competitive program there. He just needed 10 -12 young idiots to follow him, and he found them. – Steve Apple
Mr. Hargis singing along to “Do Do Do Looking out my door”… CCR song as we warmed up / stretched. Creating the cross country course behind the school during summer workouts (and conveniently making a short cut) then swimming at Mr. Hargis’ house. Sunday “workouts” usually consisting of laying on the high jump pit and talking – still team building, coach could not be there. Gary Rollings taking me to school and bringing me home after practice – and making sure to hit every bump in the road – was pretty cool for a senior to do that for a younger classman. The River Bed Striders summer team that Mr. Hargis formed and running races in Charleston – The Panther Pant and other track meets. “Borrowing” root beer mugs from the A&W in Charleston!! I guess I should have included this in my earlier response on what I took away from being on the cross country team. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, Mr. Hargis did install a love of running in me. After college Joan and I were part of the original group that formed the Kennekuk Road Runners (in Danville, Il), and I competed in many races including the Boston Marathon in 1982. I was also part of the RRCA National 50K (31 miles) Championship Team in 1984. I kept many of the workout schedules Mr. Hargis gave us and used them later in life. – Rick Edwardson
My fondest memory of the 1970 Cross Country team was the victory celebration after winning the Sectional. We were so confident and cocky that the night before the Sectional we all went to the West Terre Haute Dog and Suds and purchased gallon plastic bottles of Root Beer. When you watch major league baseball teams win the championship, they all go into the locker room and shake up champagne and beer all over the locker room and each other. Our plan after winning the Sectional, was to be in the locker room and shaking up that root beer and squirting it all over. That is exactly what we did. We planned our celebration well in advance. After winning the Sectional, we returned to West Vigo High School and had an unbelievable, joyous celebration. Rick Edwardson’s mom made a big chocolate sheet cake and we sprayed root beer all over everything and rubbed that chocolate cake all over everybody and everything. We had the greatest celebration in the history of West Vigo High School. – John Kesler II
My fondest memory of this team is simple…Running, running, and running…and by the way, did I mention running? It may not be my fondest memory, but it is the most prominent memory. As soon as the 1970 summer break began and on through the last meet in October we ran…a lot! I ran 900 miles that summer receiving persistent, influential encouragement from my dad, Coach Hargis. (BTW – If I remember correctly that was the season that we were “roped” together, lined up in groups of 5. The ideology Coach Hargis was instilling in us was the sense of staying together and finishing strong together…fond memory, no, but a very memorable memory!) What did I take from Being Part of the Team, Discipline. The discipline to put in the practice even when I wasn’t real excited about it has carried over into every area of my life, disciplining myself even when I don’t feel like it. Running/Jogging has always been a part of my life and continues today. It’s mainly a jog now, but I still jog 5 miles, 3 times a week. Congrats to my fellow classmates Brenda Whitesell and Tom Mathias for being inducted into WVHS Hall of Fame. They are great athletes in the history of WVHS sports. – Jim Hargis, Jr.