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Given to Fly

August 27, 2006

Given to Fly: ISU runners, alumni share cross country course

TERRE HAUTE — With just one kilometer left in Saturday’s 5K Sycamore Pride Alumni/Intrasquad Meet, 1950 Indiana State alumnus Dan Dimich was greeted by more than 25 Sycamores.

The ISU runners had decided to escort Dimich down the front straightaway of LaVern Gibson Championship Course to the finish line Saturday morning.

“I was honored to come back and run the course. I was treated so wonderfully by the runners,” said the member of the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame, inducted with the 1949-1950 national championship basketball team. “That was a thrill.

”Dimich plans to return the favor to the Sycamores’ runners when the ISU teams travel to South Bend for the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 29.

“I’ll be there to root them on at Notre Dame,” Dimich said.

The 80-year-old, who recently returned to his hometown of South Bend from a mountain climbing trip in Sun Valley, Idaho, finished the race in 44 minutes, 52 seconds. Upon his finish, Dimich received congratulations from ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman, cross country coaches John McNichols and John Gartland and other Sycamore alumni in attendance.

McNichols introduced Dimich to his runners at the end of a post-race carry-in lunch in the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. Dimich told the runners about his time at ISU in a room filled with Larry Bird memorabilia.

Like most of his ISU basketball teammates and legendary coach John Wooden, Dimich is a veteran of World War II. Drafted during his senior year in high school, Dimich spent 30 long months serving his country across the Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after returning home to Indiana, Dimich arrived at Indiana State and joined the Sycamores’ cross country and basketball teams.

Cross country was mainly a way to stay in shape for basketball at that time, he said.

“We ran about five meets a year,” said Dimich, whose cross country coach was David Glascock, who is probably best-known for leading Crawfordsville to the first IHSAA basketball championship in 1911.

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Given to Fly
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