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RRCA: Roads Scholar Bethke Gives Back to County Runners
By JASON EICHELBERGER
Former El Toro star Brandon Bethke certainly knows the thrill of experiencing success at the highest levels at the Orange County Championships. Bethke was a two-time county Orange County champion in 2003 and 2004. His winning time of 14:30 in 2004 is the all-time modern course meet record at Irvine Regional Park. Bethke was on hand at Saturday’s county championships as a guest awards presenter and enjoyed the opportunity to see the talent that was on display.
“It’s really cool to give back and encourage the next group of runners to do some of things that I did,” Bethke said. “I remember how special it was for me.”
Bethke, the 2004 California Division 1 state champion, went on to run collegiately at both the University of Wisconsin and Arizona State. This past summer, he competed and advanced to the finals of the 5000 at the United States Track and Field Trials in Eugene Oregon.
El Toro senior Juan Gonzalez, the first county champion to come for El Toro since Bethke, admitted to having a little extra motivation knowing that Bethke would be on hand.
“I got a call from a buddy of mine who told me that he was going to be there and that got me really excited,” Gonzalez said.
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