A Century Club meeting brings to mind the line from Forest Gump, âyou never know what you are going to getâ. This week we got a golden football and learned how the Century Club helped make cross-country the up-and-coming sport in Long Beach.
The Century Clubâs guest speaker of the evening was Polyâs Cross-Country coach Nate Bershtel. Also at the podium were team members, Senior Mandy Wainfan and Sophomore Fiona OâLeary, who had success at this yearâs State Meet. Going to State is new and exciting territory for Poly and Nate credits the Century Club and the decade old middle school cross-country program and yearly meet for increasing interest in his program.
Ten years ago I sitting with a middle school PE teacher at our wives' Christmas party when I asked him if he thought there would be interest in a cross country meet for LBUSD Middle Schoolers.Â He thought so & five months later we had our first meet.Â I approached the Century Club shortly after we came up with the initial idea as we needed funds for the timing system.Â Without hesitation, the Century Club kicked in the timing funds & the meet was born!
The meet will be held in 2016 at Heartwell Park on June 3. The meet now also includes runs for 4th and 5th graders and has over 500 participates.
Nate Bershtel seems like a terrific coach. He is extremely enthusiast about running and you could tell he is genuinely concerned about the girls well-being. The average GPA of his 140 runners is an unweighted 3.8! The girls were simple adorable and answered all our questions with candor and a good bit of humor.
Looking for something interesting to do on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7? Century Club meets each week at The Boathouse. The guest speakers are usually coaches who have a knack for being good motivational speakers (go figure). The yearly fee is still $100, just as it was 60 years ago when the club formed.