By Leonard COUTIN
Glendale Community College again honored past athletes at its annual Hall of Fame dinner held on the college campus. Recognized for their success and achievement was the outstanding 1974 state cross country championship team and their devoted coaches John Tansley and Mark Covert. Honoree Robert Thomas was one of the most successful distance runners in the community at the time.
“I found that my coaches John Tansley and Mark Covert personally cared about each of their athletes,” Thomas reflected. “It wasn’t just a job for them; it was a opportunity to make a difference in their athletes’ lives.”
The runners on the seven-man championship cross-country team were Bobby Thomas, Greg Croad, Brad Croad, Jay Rubino, David Vanderveen, John Fisanotti and Andy Gupton. Other runners on the GCC cross-country team were Gary Henry, Rodger Schoonover and Don Dunagan. They trained together daily, sometimes twice a day, in terrain that varied from the flat beaches of Santa Monica to the hills of Griffith Park.
“The Sunday morning workout was a grueling 20-mile run,” Thomas said.
Cross-country is a team sport, where every man counts. For the state championship race, the team proved their talent on one of the nation’s most challenging and hilliest: the four-mile cross-country course located at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Winning this championship race was a well earned, satisfying team effort.
The Glendale Community College Athletic Hall of Fame honors former athletes and teams who achieved excellence through competition, coaches who have made a difference in the lives of their athletes and supporters of the athletic program.