PCHS grad named Montreat Male Athlete of the Year

Published 5:35 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

Former Polk County High School student Benjamin Hall has been named the Male Athlete of the Year at Montreat College.
Hall was a track standout at Polk County High prior to graduating in 2007.
He is now a junior at Montreat. He was given his award at Montreat during a recent sports banquet at the college.
The award, voted on by all the coaches at the college, was based on all Montreat sports, not just for cross country and track.
The following was read by Halls coach Jose Larios at Montreat during the banquet.
“I had the honor of meeting Ben during my first month of recruiting at Montreat. His chunky smile and his wonderful family left a great impression on me. I had no idea this young man would become one of the best-rounded student-athletes Id ever coached.
“Hes a young man after Jesus heart- and he exudes this characteristic in all facets of his life! From encouraging his teammates, to greeting a classmate, to helping the elderly- Ben does it with zeal and sincerity. One of his teammates put it best, Ben cares. He legitimately cares for people.
“An honors student and pre-med major, Ben leads our highly competitive academic team. As an athlete, hes qualified to compete at the national cross country championships the last two years. Earning cross country athlete of the week honors numerous times. As a freshman, Hall put himself in elite class as he placed 19th in the nation in the marathon. He went on to place 8th out of 23,000 plus runners at last years Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. This spring, Ben earned himself his first ever conference title in the 5000 meter run in 15:29, which averages out to 4:58 per mile for just over three miles! This feat is impressive in itself considering Ben could barely run ONE mile under 5 minutes in high school!
“We could spend all night talking about his dedication, his work ethic, his determination, and his toughness like his solitary, two-and-a-half-hour runs to Old Fort and back! Stats are stats- there will always be faster and more talented athletes- and Bens athletic achievements are in small company at the NAIA national level.
“His performances have earned the respect of his teammates, and his competitors; but, its Bens heart and character that separates him from others. Another teammate described Ben like this, “From the first day I came to visit, Ben emulated the Christ-centeredness of Montreat. His selflessness continues to serve as encouragement and a model for me.”
“Coach Dawson and his 40-plus years of coaching experience shared these words, Im not sure Ive ever met someone with Bens character not sure I ever will.
“As a coach, Ive witnessed our team make a recent, meaningful, and yet pitiful, attempt of keeping Christ at the center of our team. Well never get it right but were determined to try. With that as our number one priority, I believe we upset the opposition. Weve experienced some more-than-average dissension on our team, injury upon injury, and sickness upon sickness. This has been the year of challenges but, with Ben and his men, were reminded that the opposition has already been defeated. God is good and when He uses young leaders like Ben and many others in this room, His goodness will continue to shine.
Thank you Ben for being a gentleman, a scholar and most importantly, thank you for your humbleness as you give God all the Glory while you bless our campus community.

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