Happy Father’s Day 2016

How much of a difference can a great Dad make in a person’s life? Immeasurable. See below for special Father’s Day messages and tributes from the finest, fittest athletes on the planet

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Esther Atkins Store_Icon_50

When I was about 7, my mom and I were in the car together, talking about religion. Being someone who has always loved and respected the ideas of children, she asked me what I believed. I thought for a while and told her that I believed that there wasn’t just one Jesus, but there were lots of tiny Jesuses who were born with the purpose of helping others.

Knowing that I loved statistics, she followed up by asking me how many tiny Jesuses there were. I responded that there were at least 2 for every 100 people. And she said, “well, you already know at least 300 people, so you must know at least one. Who do you know that’s a tiny Jesus?”

I sat and thought for a moment and said, “well, Papa is one.”

Martin Erb is one of the most giving and excessively helpful people I know. His selflessness can almost be annoying at times, but I know that it comes from a deep love and need to serve others. He’s an incredibly patient teacher and relentlessly hard worker.

I speak for my entire family when I say that we all feel blessed to have him as a father to me and my sisters, grandfather to my sister’s two children, brother to his three siblings, husband to my mom, and son to both of his parents who were always in awe of his big heart and never took it for granted.

Happy Father’s Day, Pop!

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Andrea Geubelle Store_Icon_50

My dad is the reason I keep going. He is always there to believe when my faith in me fails, to push me when I feel too tiered, always has open arms when I just need someone to hold me up and keeps me humble when everything is going right. Without him, what I do would not be possible and there are no words to put on how much I love him. Happy Fathers Day Daddy!

Melinda Withrow


Brandon Hudgins Store_Icon_50

Dad, you have watched me prosper and watched me suffer. From the early days of reminding me I needed to run over the weekend, to now asking me when the last time I took a day off. The time that we have gotten to share through our sport has given us a bond most will never know with their kids. Thank you for giving me the gift of Track and Field and always being there for advice. Love you Dad!

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Olivia Mickle Store_Icon_50

Running was an initial driving force behind our close connection. However, as much as I savor the moments we share stride for stride, we are much more than running partners. I am more grateful for our ability to share the same passion, to sympathize through injury, and to celebrate in moments of achievement. Dad, thank you for helping remind me that the world is big and for supporting me as I adventure through it. I am the luckiest daughter. I love you!

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Jeremy Taiwo

Thank you Joseph Taiwo for your love and encouragement these many years, and congratulations on being named to the Pac-12 Men’s Track & Field All-Century Team, this year! Happy Father’s Day dad!

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Neely Gracey Store_Icon_50

Sharing the love of running with my dad has allowed us to celebrate so many special moments together. Having him with me at the Boston Marathon was the most recent opportunity I have had to tell him how much I appreciate him.

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Kaitlin Goodman Store_Icon_50

To the man who introduced me to running – Happy Father’s Day! When I was 8, you crossed the finish line with me in my first 5k. I’ve been in love with running ever since. Over the years, you’ve rooted for me at many a race, from high school to college to pro. You’ve been there with me every step of the way, as a coach, cheerleader, split-taker, and bag-holder; as my confidence-booster, my shoulder to cry on, and the one reminding me to always run joyfully, no matter what. THANK YOU, Dad, for all you’ve taught me and given to me through running. I love you!

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Amy Van Alstine

My dad is the most selfless person I’ve ever known and has always encouraged me in everything I do. He is wise, sweet, and humble and always there to offer his honest opinion, whether I agree with him or not. 🙂 He’s the number one person I talk to about running & has taught me you must put in the work if you want to be successful. His caring attitude and continuous belief in me has helped keep me going every day.

His favorite quote to say to me:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

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Sandi Morris Store_Icon_50

Happy Father’s Day to the most supportive, loving, pole-vault fanatic father who ever walked this earth! As a stud muffin vaulter back in his high school and college days, he and my wonderful mother got me started young in track and field. He has been there for me and helped me grow since day one, and watched me improve from a beginner in high school to one of the best female vaulters in history. He was there for me when I cleared my first bar ever in polevault, when I won my first state title, and when I won my first U.S. National title years later, as pictured here. These are priceless memories that I will carry with me forever. I love you dad. Thanks for everything you do for me.

Love,

Sandi

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Craig Lutz Store_Icon_50

Thank you Dad for teaching me to believe in my dreams and to never give up on what I consider important. When I was just starting to become a runner, you changed your career to embrace the distance running world and community and you have grown with me throughout these last 16 years. It means a lot to me to see you teaching youth in the North Texas Region about the sport of running and developing them in healthy and practical ways so that they enjoy training at a young age without impacting their ability to continue growing as they grow up. You are a great father and mentor and will always be my first coach! Love you Dad!

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Heather Kampf Store_Icon_50

I remember a time in college, I was talking to my dad before NCAA Cross Country. Mind you, I was much more accomplished running mid-D on the track than I ever was racing over grass. I was telling him about my goal (try to be top 5 for my team) and he said something like, “Oh Heather, why don’t you just go out with the leaders? I know you can run with them.” At first I just laughed at how off-base he was in understanding the physiological differences between myself and some of the swiftest CC girls in the country. The more I thought about it though, the more I was moved by my fathers unwavering belief that all things are possible for his daughter- he never questioned that I could do anything I set my mind to.

So years later, as I’m still chasing new ‘impossibilities’, I’m so grateful to have a dad who so wholeheartedly instilled me with the belief that I’m not crazy for trying…I’d just be crazy to assume it cannot be done.

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Mary Saxer Store_Icon_50

Happy Father’s Day daddy! Thanks for showing me how to be smart and goofy all at the same time, treat others the way I want to be treated, and to truly soak up life’s journey each and every day. I love you so much!

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Kyle Merber Store_Icon_50

Thanks dad for being a constant source of inspiration in life, style and facial hair! Lucky to always have you in my corner!

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Michael Mannozzi Store_Icon_50

Love you like we do,
Matthew, we love you.

Whatever you go through,
The Lord will be with you.

Some day you’ll fill my shoes,
But after your terrible twos.

You’ve made a couple a few,
With a bond stronger than glue.

Although life can seem askew,
Be patient for a clearer view.

Time and effort can pull you through
When making it, exclaim, yahoo!

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Click here to read the 2015 Father’s Day tributes
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