Beaverton, OR -
Montreat College cross country senior Ben Hall
spent Thursday morning at the Nike World Headquarter in Beaverton, Oregon while serving over 100 high school students in the 2010 NAIA Cross Country Champions of Character event. The event took place in the Bo Jackson Gymnasium on the campus of Nike's headquarters.
The Champions of Character event included five stations of games and activities for the high school students, which also included opportunities for many of the NAIA student-athletes to exude and explain the five core values of the champions of character initiative.
"The trip to Nike's headquarters was really cool. One of my favorite moments was meeting Coach Salazar and hearing him give God praises for his life," said Hall.
Coach Salazar is currently the head coach of Nike's Oregon Project. He recently hired Coach Jay Schumacher from the University of Wisconsin to assist, as Salazar has experienced some health issues recently. Salazar still works daily with many of America's best distance runners and Olympic hopefuls.
"It was really cool to hear Coach Salazar give God praises. He said that his best coaching accomplishment happens each Sunday, when he sees his athletes, like Webb and Ritz attend church with him," added Hall.
Nike's headquarters serves as an elite center for training for many of America's Olympic runners. Some of the Nike Oregon Project athletes include, among Webb and Ritzenhein, Kara and Adam Goucher, Matt Tegencamp, Galen Rupp, Chris Solinsky, and Amy Begley.
"It was really nice for Olympian Nathan Ritzenhein and Coach Salazar to take time and chat with us before their workout. Ritz was really humble and Coach Salazar shared his faith openly," added Coach Larios. "I was happy that we were able to see Galen Rupp and Alan Webb [two other Olympians] today. Ben had a great time working with the kids and visiting Nike's headquarters."
Coach Larios visits with Olympian Nathan Ritzenhein and legendary distance coach Alberto Salazar
Ben Hall involved in the 2010 Champions of Character event at the Bo Jackson Gymnasium