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Running Above and Beyond

Last week Wednesday (Febuary 7th), the track and cross-country teams were summoned to a mysterious meeting. Surprised by cake and plaques the track and field team was given the “Academic All-State Award” for both girls and boys. Coach Dean was also named regional coach of the year!

These awards come on the heels of an incredible season the year prior. Cross-country had seen an extremely successful season, finishing at states. The track team also sent the boys to win states for Coach Dean’s first year coaching both distance and sprinting.

Academic All-State is an award given to teams with a high group average Grade Point Average (GPA) and a dedication to the sport. To maintain an exemplary GPA and physically push oneself is a large feat. Michigan celebrates such exemplary athletes with the All-State Academic Award. Many schools can earn the award but Hackett Catholic Prep had the highest team GPA of all Division 4 schools in Michigan. 

On Gold "Hackett Catholic Prep - 3.909 GPA - DIvision 4 Boys - 2023"

On Gold "Hackett Catholic Prep - 3.909 GPA - DIvision 4 Boys - 2023"

The academic honor was celebrated and finalized by an amazing announcement from Coach Dean when she proclaimed she was cancer-free! Early in the cross-country season, at the beginning of the year, Coach Dean told the team that she had stage three cancer. The cancer shadowed most of the season and brought a lot of pain and anxiety to the team and the parents of the members. 

Coach Dean on the Left at the 2022 Track State meet.

Coach Dean had to cut back on her work significantly at her day job but always continued in her coaching. Coach Dean attended camp, training, and every race. She told the athletes that the team was the most important thing to her, and she said “I will quit my job before I leave this team.” 

The fight with cancer left a lot of worry and uneasiness to those closest to their coach. The relief felt in the room when Coach Dean Finally announced the good news was cut through as Mrs. Germinder sliced a celebratory cake made by Mrs. Buchman. 

Coach Dean has shown extraordinary dedication to the Hackett cross-country and track team, going above and beyond for children who are not her own and supporting, changing, and positively impacting her athletes. She fought tooth and nail through cancer and she fought hard for her team. Hackett is truly blessed to have such a fantastic and caring member of its community and running teams. 


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