A lot of people have asked how Batesville has developed such a good distance running program. When I came to Batesville and took over the cross country program, it was run by the basketball coach, and the main participants were the basketball players trying to get into shape for basketball. They had very little desire to improve as runners.Even though I coached basketball at the time, I decided to recruit athletes whose first love was running. One of these young men was Dennis Dierckman who went on to finish second in a state distance race. Also, I expanded the training to include practicing on Saturdays and running through the summer vacation for fun. Since most other programs in southeastern Indiana were just like Batesville had been, it was not difficult to dominate them.With the success of Dennis Dierckman and the runners who followed him, we built a tradition which continues today. After I retired, Leo Turchyn, Ron McAllister, Lisa Gausman, and Ben Pierson have continued with this attitude. They are continuing to do quite well in distance running. Once the tradition is established, athletes want to be a part of winning programs.
Today sees the 89th National Coursing Meeting begin at Powerstown Park in Clonmel. The meet will run until Monday with over €200,000 in prize money up for grabs. It is the biggest event in the coursing calendar year and Johnny Looby will be covering all of the action for Tipp FM Sport.