In an exclusive article published in the News Journal this week about the most influential Delawareans in seven categories, CRR Charlie Riordan was one of the 15 individuals highlighted as being most influential in science and technology.
Not just a runner, Riordan, who joined the University of Delaware faculty in 1997, “oversees the university’s research office, six university-wide research institutes, and ‘core’ facilities.” Under his leadership, “more than 1,500 faculty, staff, and students have been approved to return to their research work since early June. Riordan is an internationally renowned inorganic chemist” (and all-around nice guy).
Creek Road Runners congratulate him on this recognition.
For CRR Jim Fischer, it can seem like a bit of a redemption story, though not of his own choosing.
You see, Fischer had coached the University of Delaware’s DI men’s cross-country and track-and-field teams for three decades in his previous coaching life. That came to a gut-wrenching end in 2011, as UD erased its men’s running program over the course of three years while he was at the helm. Something about Title IX, despite all the good he was doing for the young athletes, most of whom happened to be great students as well.
“It really hurt me,” Fischer admitted. “It was not only that that’s what I loved. It was also that it wasn’t a valued program to [the UD administration], and that hurt even worse.”
Well, after having had his job eliminated at UD, Fischer took positions with Delaware Technical & Community College and then Sanford School, respectively, before getting an opportunity with the Ursuline Academy—an all-girls’ school most famous for having produced WNBA superstar Elena DelleDonne. In the five years Coach Fischer has been at Ursuline, the school has won the past three girls Division II state cross-country titles, displacing the perennial juggernaut Tatnall School. Prior to his arrival, Ursuline hadn’t won that coveted state title since 1998.
Now, Coach Fischer has been honored as the 2020 Delaware Coach of the Year for these latest accomplishments, just another in a series of awards for one who is already a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Minnesota, Coach Fischer has been a Creek Road Runner, as well as a member of the Pike Creek Valley Running Club, since coming on the scene in Delaware back in the ’80s. He has always been an advocate for running and racing and has for decades now been holding community workouts on Tuesday nights, helping runners of all abilities to improve and/or meet their goals.
Hearty congratulations, Coach, from Creek Road Runners!
The summer is usually quiet on campus, and this summer it has been really quiet. But every year around this time, the University of Delaware Trustees officially announce faculty promotions. This year, two Creek Road Runners have been so honored.
Prof. and CRR George Parsons has been awarded a named professorship. He is now the Unidel E. I. duPont Professor of Marine Studies.
CRR Christine Cucciarre has been promoted from associate professor to professor (without tenure).
So, it’s been relatively silent here at CreekRoadRunners.org since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped our region and the world. However, that doesn’t mean that runners have not found ways to adapt and stay in shape and, yes, even “compete” (For example, see the previous story, posted three months ago.)
Such is the case with CRR Diane Kukich, the Newark woman with the still-intact streak of more than 10,000 consecutive days of workouts, dating back some 30 years. So, it figures that, while not a fanatic racer, she would design ways to push herself and compete (against the clock) as one of the top masters females in the area.
Enter the Crush the Pandemic competition, organized by Tri-Sports Charitable Events. The competition involved ten 5Ks, all self-timed. Perfect for Kukich, who simply pushed herself while working this into her fitness routine.
And, voila! Kukich took home (er, was mailed) hardware for winning the female masters category with the fastest cumulative time (4:25:27) for her series of 5K runs. That equates to a 26:33 average per 5K—not bad for anyone, let alone someone in the 65-69 age bracket.
Such a unique concept and award. Hopefully, we won’t have to see such a thing become the norm.
CRR Matt Robinson, self-proclaimed CEO of Creek Road Runners and professor of sport management at the University of Delaware, has been named to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition Science Board by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. This council is made up of academic and medical experts who will provide a solid scientific foundation in youth sports research.