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Friday, October 25, 2019

Highlands cross country runner helps support opposing team runner

Cooper Gamble received a Global Leader award for reaching out to help another student athlete.

By Jessica Eden and Robin Gee 

There is something to be said about great sportsmanship and one young man on the Highlands Cross Country team is the epitome of that term.

At a Cross Country run on Sept. 13, Highlands Freshman Cooper Gamble noticed that another student on the opposing team was having a hard time keeping up. A St. Phillips student, whose family wishes for him to remain anonymous, experienced a family tragedy. As a result, the runner missed several practices...but, he was still determined to run.


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In an email shared with us from St. Phillips Cross Country, Coach Mike Braun, he says the student really wanted to run despite the challenges he faced. “I just couldn’t tell him no, so I let him run. He, of course, was last, way last. Your runner [Cooper] stuck with him the ENTIRE time, encouraging him, talking to him, supporting him. After the meet, he even came back over to our team and said goodbye [the student]. We are so thankful for this young man!” said Braun.

In an email shared with us from Head Cross Country Coach Brian Alessandro to St. Phillips Cross Country Coach Mike Braun, Brian says Cooper is one of many spectacular students. “I know I am biased, but I do believe we have the absolute best group of young people Highlands has to offer involved in our program. I am so thankful for these kids, but also your kind words. This sport is about more than running, and this story shows it.”

Alessandro, who is also a Language Arts teacher, says Cooper began Cross Country at a young age.

“Cooper has been a part of our program for several years. He began running in elementary school, and I also had him in class as a student in the 7th grade. He is involved in the Drama program at Highlands, and he’s just an overall nice young man.”

Although the student did not wish to be named, Coach Bran wanted to make one thing clear to Cooper’s coach Brian…. “This young man went ABOVE and BEYOND last Friday to help one of my runners.”


Each month the Fort Thomas Independent School Board selects people who have demonstrated the skills identified in the district’s Portrait of a Graduate. These skills match key roles of courageous leader, empathetic collaborator, creative problem solver, curious and critical thinker and global communicator.

Global Leader awards are open to all including students, faculty, school staff and administration, parents, community members or area business people. Nominations can come from anyone in the school community.

This month, Dr. Karen Cheser awarded Gamble the Global Leader award for going the extra mile.

She thanked Gamble and noted he is one of only a handful of students to receive a Global Leader award so far.

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