Michael Bergmann – CYO Track and Field “Legend”
From the CYO Awards Night Banquet May 22, 2012:
In 1997 when I began my role as Executive Director of CYO/Camp Howard, another person joined on as a volunteer on the Track and Field Commission. I am sure that he was as amazed as I was at the disorganization of the program. God has a way of bringing the right people at the right time to fix things and little did I know the gift that came in the package of this individual.
I went to lunch with him toward the end of the winter as we were looking ahead to Track and Field. I showed him a booklet that Herb Lommen had put together for his CYO program and I asked Mike to help me update it for the purposes of a starting point for the CYO Track and Field program. Sort of a primer for coaches you might say. We went to work on that book and used it for several years to train coaches in the sport for CYO.
Our Commission grew and our coaching base improved. We soon had a commission filled with very astute track and field members. John Cronise joined the group and helped us get a timing system in place. With this capability, it was John Cronise and the CYO timing system that got the high schools started with similar timing systems.
For the first several years we would run championship events and let the teams know a few days later who won the event! We did not have a software program to help us score the event in a timely manner nor the expertise at the time to do it by hand.
We evolved from 600+ athletes in track and one regular season meet per weekend to some 1600 participants today with four track meets per weekend. Today we are nationally recognized, we constantly hear positive comments from people about the efficiency of our meets. For example:
Shalane Flanagan, will represent the United States in the Marathon in London this summer. She attended the CYO Meet of Champions this past weekend thanks to her running coach, Jerry Schumaker whose son runs for CYO out of St. Thomas More.
She was amazed at the organization and efficiency of the CYO meet and commented that her own state meet was no-where near as organized.
Youth Runner Magazine makes a point to attend our Meet of Champions every year now to find stories about some of the very best track and field participants in the nation right here in Bridge city!
The CYO Track and Field program has developed to this point of sophistication because a man with a passion for the sport and a vision for where this program could be, stepped up to volunteer. Thanks to his leadership, others joined such as Paul Boileau, Jim Bridges, Sean Phillips, Alisha Hamel, Kelly Alfieri and others that have served previously on the commission.
Mike Bergmann called me as I was on my way to the Roadrunner Track and Field meet last weekend and told me he was going to step down from his role as Commission Chair. I told him I knew this day would come eventually. He told me he has done all he can do. The program is in tip top shape, the commission is loaded with capable people and he has other work to do. He also mentioned he won’t be far away.
Mike would be the first to say it was not he alone who accomplished the great works of the Track and field success. It wasn’t. If it weren’t for the others who came to help we could not have achieved what we have over the past 15 years. But I will say that from my observation post, Mike brought the leadership we needed to get the program to the place it is today, and the individuals who joined forces were essential in making this program one of National recognition.
We have bestowed two legend awards in the past 15 years. The first was to Fr. Carl Gimpl for his efforts at Camp Howard. The second was to Dick Weigel for his several years of Board leadership in the organization. Tonight we are honoring Michael Bergmann with our Legends award for 15 years of service and excellence in the CYO Track and Field program.
Thanks Mike! – Love Sister Krista