Getting their goat

Mountain Goat 12K

Clockwise from top, Kevin Brodrick (99C), Andy Christie (99C), James Tigue (98C), Joe Mareno (99C), Paul Deaton (91C) and Brian Brodrick (97C) mug for the camera with the Mountain Goat 12K mascot.

Cross country and track alumni resurrected a proud tradition with the Jan. 25 running of the “new” Mountain Goat 12K on the slopes of Berry’s Lavender Mountain. A total of 91 participants braved the frigid weather and challenging course, many of them former student-athletes. Chris Mayer (11C) was first across the finish line in 44 minutes, 28 seconds, while Jennifer Stocks (12C) led all women in 52:11. Full results.

The origins of the Mountain Goat 12K date back to a series of formal and informal trail races started by then-Berry coach Jim Dugger in the early 1980s. Current coach Paul Deaton (91C) got his introduction to Berry when he competed in the 1985 race. The name, he said, comes from the terrain: “Only a mountain goat could run up there.”

Those early races were held in the heat of August and often featured “recycled” awards such as old hats and t-shirts.

“Someone recently mentioned a bowling ball they received,” Dugger said. “And another took home an oversized cheerleading trophy.”

The 8-mile Mountain Goat run eventually evolved into a shorter 5-mile race before moving off campus entirely in the mid-1990s, but the hilly route has remained a weekly staple for Berry distance runners ever since.

No bowling balls were handed out at this year’s race, but there was still fun to be had (as evidenced by the accompanying photo). After the run, some participants gathered at Ford Dining Hall for the first of what Deaton hopes will be an annual reunion of distance running alumni. Attendees were updated on Berry’s cross country and track seasons and heard about future plans for track and field and the associated Valhalla stadium project.

More photos.

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