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NO. R-136. JOINT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING ERIN SULLIVAN AND TARA CHAPLIN ON THEIR EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCES AT THE 1997 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS.

(J.R.H. 94)

Offered by: Representatives Symington of Jericho, Alfano of Calais, Deuel of West Rutland, Doyle of Richmond, Hathaway of Barton, Heath of Westford, Hummel of Underhill, Hyde of Fayston, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Knox of Northfield, Krasnow of Charlotte, Kristensen of Guilford, Lafayette of Burlington, Milne of Washington, Osman of Plainfield, Parizo of Essex, Rose of Williston, Scribner of Middlesex, Steele of Waterbury, Towne of Berlin, Valsangiacomo of Barre City and Vincent of Waterbury.

Whereas, cross-country running is best characterized as a sport necessitating individual strategic planning, agility and personal endurance in combination with the swiftness of maximum human self-propulsion, and

Whereas, interscholastic track competition is among the most magnificent and exhilarating competitive sports, both for the participants and the spectators, and

Whereas, Vermont's history of incubating running talent was unusually demonstrated in the fall of 1997 by the robust and invigorating performances of Erin Sullivan of Jericho Center, a junior at Mt. Mansfield Union High School, and her gracious competitor, Tara Chaplin of Middlesex, a senior at U-32 High School, and

Whereas, Tara and Erin have been encouraged and supported in their efforts to achieve excellence by their families and coaches, Michael Sullivan, Claudia Sullivan, Anne Sullivan, Sue McNamara, Mark Chaplin and Jessica Chaplin, and

Whereas, Tara Chaplin, under the guidance of her coach and father, Mark Chaplin, has been an ever-rising star in Vermont's interscholastic track competition throughout her high school career, and

Whereas, Erin and Tara finished first and second, respectively, in the Northeast Regional Cross-Country Meet that was held at Van Courtland Park in Bronx, New York, qualifying for the national finals in Orlando, Florida, and

Whereas, Erin, who was a favorite of many pundits to capture the national title, still astounded everyone present at the Orlando race by completing the five-kilometer course in an outstanding time of 17 minutes and 22 seconds, nearly 30 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, and

Whereas, Tara caused Vermonters to cheer as she earned All-American honors whenshe sped around the course in an admirable time of 18 minutes and 26 seconds, earning a very respectable ninth place finish, and

Whereas, Erin and Tara have both been honor roll students in each quarter of their high school careers, and

Whereas, celebrating Tara's and Erin's public achievement of excellence gives Vermonters the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of all the children of the state, and

Whereas, each of these athletes conveys, along with her hard work and commitment, a sense of joy in running and in the chance to achieve her best, and

Whereas, each of these young women has proven to be an exemplary role model for Vermonters of all ages, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is extremely proud to convey its heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for future success as athletes and lifelong learners to Erin Sullivan and Tara Chaplin, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Erin Sullivan, Tara Chaplin and to their coaches at Mt. Mansfield Union High School and U-32 High School.