When Dallas' Regan Rome isn't running with her high school team, she is running for national championships.
On Dec. 8, Rome will be part of an elite field running at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships in San Diego. She qualified by placing fourth in the Northeast Regional in New York last weekend.
Getting the elite runner to California requires more than the standard yellow school bus used during the Wyoming Valley Conference schedule. And others around the league are willing to help Rome represent the conference, and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
(Former coach) Stew Harry contacted our club and myself, and told me only two other people have made nationals from this area and thought it was something we should support, Wyoming Valley West coach Anthony Dicton said. So then I called the parents in the booster club. We have 13 or 14 seniors this year, so we had a lot of parents that showed really good involvement. Once we saw we had enough left over from this year, they gave up a little more and Stew and I coughed up some more. Everybody was glad to do it. I don't even know the total, really.
They hoped to present the donation toward Regan's run to the Rome family this week. But why help a rival?
Well, she's a WVC runner, and a lot of these kids are very close knit, Dicton said. It's nice for everyone, really. You know, if you coach around here long enough, you see the way they talk to each other after the meet, the way they congratulate each other, they way they work with each other during the offseason even. These kids all know how hard it is to compete.
The ones that I got to talk to about it were happy for her, excited for her. The seniors I got to talk to are excited for her. Hopefully she does really well when she goes.