Simply spending time with Lisa and Kiel Uhl and the latest adopted Iowa athlete by the Next Level Iowa, former Iowa State stand out, Dani Stack would be a pleasure anytime, but to include the young and talented coaching staff of Simpson College along with proven and dedicated area high school coaches made our time even more enjoyable and worthwhile. (Editors note: Dani’s lack of talent at the talent show the Tuesday night of camp nearly cost Dani her newly adopted Iowa athlete status, but she managed to rally by being such a good sport and a great role model and inspiration for the campers-kidding.)
While spending time with the camp staff is one thing, for us, it is always about being around such a dedicated and motivated gathering of young athletes. I can think of few things as uplifting and inspiring as being in the presence of young and committed runners such as the 75 or so athletes at Lisa’s camp. Their unbridled enthusiasm, spirit and dedication to getting better can’t help but lift any soul and reveal the goodness and depth of young runners.
It was a special pleasure to be included with this gathering of athletes and coaches and I can’t help but imagine how Lisa’s camp will grow in years to come. As Mike and I, talked with the runners and handed out Next Level Iowa posters I wondered how many of these young athletes would one day be worthy of being included with all the other Iowa greats in cross country, track and field.
From Mike Jay: “I was impressed with the enthusiasm shown by everyone there! From the camp directors, to the coaches to the
counselors to most importantly the campers/athletes. Everyone was there to learn from each other and to get better. For Lisa to take time from her professional career to help these young people work to become better was so impressive to me. She is training to run the Bix 7, the US 7 mile championships, and yet she knew helping these kids, at her Camp of Champions was the right thing to do. Kudos to all involved it was awesome and I am so thankful that they let Next Level Iowa play a small role in it’s success.”
A big thanks to Lisa and Kiel Uhl, Simpson coaches Heath Moenck and Dave Cleveland, area coaches Josh Maxwell and Jacob Kaemmer, and especially the camp participants..