By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Alec and Aaron Thomas
The John Maher Builders Scholar-Athletes of the Month for October are unique in several ways. For the first time, distance runners have captured both the male and female awards. And, it is the first time the recognition has been bestowed upon twin athletes. Grabbing the award for October 2013 are Aaron and Alec Thomas from Brentwood and Independence’s Lizzy Kroeger.
It’s been a very busy week for Independence cross country standout Lizzy Kroeger. Not only has she been named the Maher Builder’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month in Williamson County, but she also learned Monday that she is a national finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman to be presented in New York City in December.
A senior, Kroeger finished second in the state this year in the championship 5,000-meter run, backing up her 1,600-meter state titles in 2011 and 2012. Despite the demands of training, Kroeger continues to serve her community, working with the Girl Scouts of America, Best Buddies and representing her school in the American Legion’s annual Girls State program.
Kroeger manages to commit to community service and extra curricula activities while still maintaining a 4.428 grade point average and staying active in the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, the national mathematics honor society.
“These accolades do not even scratch the surface for the true character of Lizzy Kroeger,” said nominator Mollye Hague, a social studies instructor and cross country and track coach at Independence. “I have witnessed Lizzy lead our team to success, walk alongside a hurting friend, and build-up the esteem of a not so ‘popular student’. Lizzy has humility and grace that goes well beyond her young age of 18 and I look for her to do great things in the years to come.
“I cannot think of a scholar-athlete more deserving of the John Maher Scholar Athlete Award. Lizzy epitomes the characteristics that you pray your daughter will one day have.”
Alec and Aaron Thomas
Alec and Aaron Thomas came into the world as twins and, apparently, expect to continue that togetherness for a long time. Their uncanny ability to push each other to excellence was quickly noted by veteran Brentwood coach and athletic director Ronnie Seigenthaler
“Alec and Aaron Thomas are dedicated and hardworking runners, students, and teammates. As captains, they have led the cross country team to three consecutive state championships,” said Seigenthaler.
“On the other hand, Alec and Aaron Thomas are great students. While having taken a total of nine AP classes, they are both in the top five percent of their graduating class.”
The pair were also a part of two straight state championship track teams their freshman and sophomore years. Last year in a fourth-place team finish, the pair scored in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs, while Aaron led off the 4 X 800-meter relay.
Earlier this year in the ultra-competitive Trinity High School Valkyrie Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky, the Brentwood brothers finished 1st and 3rd, separated by only 1.5-seconds over the 5,000-meter course.
Alec has run the second and third fastest times ever on what distance runners consider a brutal state championship course at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. Brother Aaron holds the fifth fastest time ever on the course. Both have broken the former Bruin record of 15:13 in the 5,000-meter run, held by Sean Keveren.
Posted on: 11/21/2013