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Benjamin, Spratt-Ingram deserve honors

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By The Staff

The summer of 2008 will go down as a banner campaign in track and field.

Indian Land’s own Shawn Crawford, a Van Wyck native, dashed to a third medal in the men’s 200-meter at the Beijing Olympics. He won a gold and silver in the 2004 Games at Athens.

Crawford, who originally finished fourth in the race, appeared to have a silver medal locked up after two runners were disqualified for stepping out of their lanes.

A counter protest from one of the runners is pending on whether Crawford will get the silver or the bronze.

While we await Crawford’s medal fate, there’s another reason to celebrate.

The Columbus Parker Track Club, a Lancaster area youth track team, had a splendid season this summer.

The CPTC celebrated at its recent banquet, hailing an effort that netted 246 ribbons, 136 medals and 22 gold medals.

That‘s quite a haul, but there’s more to celebrate.

When the team participated in the Region III meet in Fairburn, Ga., where the CPTC placed in the top 10 of the 57-team field, the elite meet was stopped to honor its coaches.

Arthur Benjamin, a 38-year veteran with the CPTC, and Dorothy Spratt-Ingram, who has dedicated 18 years to the team, were inducted into the Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Benjamin and Spratt-Ingram were honored because of their many years of service and dedication to the team.

“It just shows if you hang around long enough, good things will happen to you,” Benjamin said with a chuckle.

Benjamin and Spratt-Ingram have done much more than hang around.

The duo has combined to provide a positive place for youngsters to channel their energy during their idle summers over the years.

That energy has produced ribbons, medals and honor for Lancaster area youngsters in what was likely their first venture into athletics.

The CPTC has also launched budding athletic and education careers with youngsters competing at regional meets and experiencing college campuses.

The victories, medals and ribbons are great, but there’s more to Benjamin and Spratt-Ingram than scores of awards. They stand as sterling role models, who have done the lion’s share to boost the lives of Lancaster youth.

We salute their excellent example of keeping youngsters on track to success.