Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

A family affair

Basehor-Linwood brother-sister duo helping Bobcats’ cross country squad find success

September 22, 2005

When junior cross country runner Amanda Vitt's little brother Alex entered high school, she tried to convince him to come out for cross country.

"I forced him to," Amanda says.

OK, so she forced him to join the team, but she had her reasons.

"I thought he should because football, he's not very big and he probably wasn't going to do a whole lot in that," Amanda said. "So I told him he had to come run because we need the boys."

Unlike some little brothers, Alex listened and it has worked out for him and the cross country team.

Alex, a sophomore, is one of the top runners for the boy's team. Expected to be the boy's number two runner this season, Alex was the top Bobcat at the team's first meet, the Tonganoxie triangular, where he finished 16th.

Amanda is one of the top runners on the girl's side. She one-upped her brother at the Tonganoxie triangular, finishing 15th. But she thought she could have performed better.

"I got what he had and I just happened to have it during the race," Amanda said of the chest cold that she got from her brother.

Don't be fooled by Amanda blaming her little bro for giving her a cold. These two do seem to get along.

"They don't have the normal "I hate my brother" sort of thing going," coach Jeff Venema said. "They're nice to everyone, including each other. However, I don't think Alex wants to let Amanda beat him."

Alex won't even let his big sister have a chance to outrun him. When asked if they ever train together during the summer Amanda said, "I've tried but he won't do that. He's lazy."

So maybe they do trade the occasion barb like normal brothers and sisters. They won't admit that they hang out together and neither is going to say that they like each other too much. But spend some time at a cross country meet and it is not uncommon to find the two attached at the hip.

Venema says that neither of the Vitts is his most talented runner but he would take a team full of kids just like them.

"Amanda and Alex are just great kids; very determined to get better, very determined to be successful," Venema said. "They aren't the type that can fall out of bed and run fast; they need to work hard to get results, so they do."

Both Vitts will return to the course on Thursday, Sept. 22 for the Tonganoxie Invitational.

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