BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – To say Mike and Angie Spielman were surprised Saturday would be a big understatement.
They were shocked and humbled during a special presentation before awards were handed out at the Baldwin Invitational cross country meet. In three decades of leading the Baldwin High cross country team, it’s never been about them – but instead always about the runners.
Yet, Saturday’s presentation was all about them and their dedication to the sport.
The Baldwin Golf Association honored the Spielmans with a plaque and a sign naming the home course the Spielman Cross Country Course. Emotions quickly set in, and as they did, Mike diverted attention back to the runners who awaited their medals.
Mike Spielman began coaching BHS in 1992 and has remained the coach since then, accumulating 25 Class 4A state championships between the boys and girls teams. His squads have also earned dozens of state trophies, hundreds of state medals and a handful of individual state titles.
Meanwhile, his wife Angie has been there all along. She’s never been an official coach, but she’s been a part of practices, workouts and helping at meets every year, in addition to many other tasks that have made the program it is today.
Neither of them have ever wanted credit for Baldwin’s success. They’re always positive and encouraging, while remaining humble.
But the end of Saturday’s home meet was all about recognizing them and their contributions. Without them and what the cross country program has done during the past 30 years, the golf course and cross country course might not be there. It’s taken the effort of many individuals to keep the facility and maintain it throughout the year.
Now, visitors will be able to see signage of those responsible for building a high school sports dynasty at the next BHS home meet Oct. 1 and two weeks later at the Maple Leaf Run before the annual festival Oct. 15.
– story by Jimmy Gillispie