I’ve had a hell of a time here in Nebraska. Had the pleasure of meeting, advocating for, and working with some of the finest individuals I’ve ever known. That ride isn’t over yet, those wheels still have some good use.
Going to thank an individual today. A remarkable athlete that epitomized the very essence of what I was cooking up while wearing my Team Nebraska apron.
My heartstrings were more than a little tugged when we received the following email from Angee Henry:
“Thanks for the information and the support in the past. I have always said that if it were not for Will and Team Nebraska, I would not have continued to run the past 5 years on a competitive level. Thank you Will and those of you who represented the team so well that I wanted a red jersey, too.
I have enjoyed and am grateful for the support of the team but will no longer need it. My life has taken a couple turns and I will no longer pursue running on a high level. Therefore would like to be taken off the mailing list. Thanks to everyone and happy running !”
Angee’s legacy in Nebraska athletics will rank right up there with the likes of Alice Schmidt. She took a long and circuitous route to becoming one of the top middle distance runners in the United States. A prep sprint phenom at Bellevue West she went on to UNL where she was a 2 time NCAA Champion in the Long Jump. She competed internationally from 1999-2001, living and training in Paris. After an injury Angee returned to Omaha. I would occasionally see her running at the dojo and in fact she trained up for a 1:45 Lincoln Half Marathon. I can actually claim to have been Angee’s coach. For one Wednesday night at any rate. I learned a lot about sprinters. After each prescribed effort Angee would fall to the track, completely spent. I hollered and cajoled and implored her to rise up and get ready for the next effort, (:20! :10! :05!, Get Up Angee!!!). You just don’t treat a sprinter like a distance runner. She would begin working with Sara Domeier and that would lead to some sterling personal bests of 400m 51.73 and 800m 2:01.
While a Good Mate Angee had the Performance of the Meet at the USA Club T&F Championships in 2009. A damp and chilly San Francisco afternoon didn’t slow her down as she toured the oval in 53.18. She also won the 800 in 2:08.12 and finished 3rd in the 200 in 25.07.
And maybe my favorite memory was the 2010 Drake Relays 400 meters where Angee nearly beat Jamaican Shareefa Lloyd (2 time World Championships), losing by the slimmest of margins 51.84 to 51.89.
So Angee, here’s to you today. Thanks for the memories, thanks for inspiring a new generation, thanks for all your contributions both on and off the track. Proud to call you a Good Mate and a Friend.
Angee made her Team Nebraska debut at the 2008 USATF Club T&F Champs in Olathe, KS. She won the 400 in 53.30 and the 800 in 2:07:05. A star was reborn!
Angee’s drive was her stock in trade.
I took this photo. It was with 20 meters to go in the 800 meters. She was completely boxed in by three other runners and I gave her zero chance of getting top 3. Right at this moment she found a way to slip through and onto victory.
My personal favorite. Angee up front with Alice Schmidt (#10), Casey Owens (#11), just ahead of Ann Gaffigan (green), Anne Shadle (Team Nebraska) and Stacy Girard. Transitioning from the track to the roads at the 2008 Omaha Mile and giving these ladies the quick start to Alice’s state record 4:38.52 Angee’s performance as part of the fastest women’s road mile in Nebraska state history.
1 Alice Schmidt 4:38.52 2 Casey Owens 4:40.52 3 Stacy Girard 4:41.02 4 Anne Gaffigan 5:00.52 Team Nebraska 5 Anne Shadle 5:04.72 Team Nebraska 6 Angee Henry 5:15.35 Team Nebraska