, 2023-01-28 09:51:24,
January 28, 2023
By: Dwayne Page
A DeKalb County High School cross country runner will continue pursuing his love of the sport at the collegiate level.
Friends, family, and coaches joined Aaron Gottlied Friday at DCHS as the senior star cross country runner, who qualified for state championship competitions throughout his high school career, signed a letter of intent with Milligan University to join the nationally acclaimed Buffaloes.
At the 2022 NAIA National Championships, Milligan’s men finished as the national runner-up with four All-Americans at Apalachee Regional Mark in Tallahassee. The Buffs posted a team score of 115, identical to the national championship-winning total for the Buffs in 2021. Milligan’s women also finished as the national runner-up with three All-American finishers in the top 20.
At Milligan, Gottlied will be a runner at some level year-round including cross country in the fall, indoor track in winter, and track in spring.
Gottlied, son of Edward and Carrie Gottlied of Smithville, said he is excited about his future.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to be part of something bigger than high school and to go on and continue to keep running at a higher level,” said Gottlied.
Aaron’s plans are to earn a degree in pre-physical therapy and then work toward obtaining a masters degree to become a physical therapist.
Kristen VanVranken, who has coached Gottlied both at the DeKalb Middle School and DCHS level, said Aaron is a special athlete.
“He started running for the middle school team when he was a sixth grader. Right away he had something special. He really enjoyed the sport. He is super committed. Aaron started out pretty competitively his sixth-grade year. He was running varsity and it snowballed from there. He is also involved with track for Warren County. We have a co-op program with them, so he does that. This will be our third year with Warren. His major accomplishments have been making it to state as a cross country runner his 9th-12 grade year. Unfortunately, his 12th grade year he had the flu so he wasn’t able to compete,” said Coach VanVranken
In addition, Gottlied was key in leading the first Cross Country team from DCHS to state.
“We sent a team last year to compete at state which is the first time that has ever happened for DCHS, so Aaron is not only an amazing individual runner, but he played a major role in seeing us to state as a team which was awesome,” added Assistant DCHS Cross Country…
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