Olympian Amy Yoder Begley at Bethany
Challenges students to set big and small goals."Find your talent, set goals, and dream," said Amy Yoder Begley, a 2008 Olympic long-distance runner and family friend of assistant principal Hank Willems, who learned to know Begley when her family befriended him as a first-year teacher and then assistant girls track coach at East Noble High School.
Speaking in a special all-school chapel at Bethany on Oct. 3, she used stair steps as a model for setting goals. She shared how she only reached the top step of competing in the Olympics by reaching smaller goals (steps) she set for herself along the way. She also noted the importance of having a good support system such as family and friends who can encourage you and keep you focused on your goals.
Begley began running at age ten. During her first year in high school she finished last at state, but with a little work over the summer came back to win the state championship as a sophomore. She still holds the Indiana high school state record of 10:24 in the 3200 meter.
Since college Begley has run professionally, most recently with Nike Oregon Project. She finished third and set a personal best record in the 10,000-meter U.S. Olympic trials, which qualified her for the 2008 Olympic team. In the Olympics this summer she finished 26th out of 32 runners. She says, "It was not my best race, but it was a great experience and a learning experience for me." In fact after every race she writes down what she did well, what she didn't do well, and what she can learn from that. She says, "You can always learn what you can do better."