The Marcus I Invitational has been one of the biggest and more popular meets in Texas. Like most meets in these COVID times, the meet was facing some serious challenges and changes. The UIL didn't allow 5A and 6A schools to compete during the time in which the normal Marcus I date is usually held making Marcus I one of the 2020 cross country meet casualties.
First year head coach at Marcus, Andrew Reinberg said, "We want(ed) this meet to happen, this is a very special meet to everybody; it's a tradition in cross country, especially in Texas."
This summer, Marcus lost their head coach, Steve Telaneus who passed away. Telaneus was well known to be an educator, teacher of sport and life, fierce but humble competitor, great coach, but even a better man. His loss will have a major effect on the sport in Texas, the Texas coaching community, the Marcus program, as well as current and former athletes.
Marcus I will still happen and it will be happening this weekend on October 10, 2020.
The Marcus family renamed the meet to the Coach T Invitational, "We decided to change the name. We knew we were going to honor Coach T somehow and what better way to do it than to name the meet that has been a staple for cross country in Texas the Coach T Invitational," Reinberg said.
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In a time where the whole world is going through a transition dealing with COVID and our country is experiencing social justice situations and a historical election; the kids at Marcus are experiencing that and more with the loss of their coach.
Reinberg has found himself thrust into a situation where he has become the leader of young men and young women who are dealing with more than the normal young person. He was the assistant coach under Telaneus for four years, and was now appointed the head coach. "Immediately, my principal called me, he's been a huge advocate for, the administration on campus has been a huge support for me. I've had a lot of help from the guys I coach against, all of these guys I compete against everyday, they are checking in on me."
"We decided to change the name. We knew we were going to honor Coach T somehow and what better way to do it than to name the meet that has been a staple for cross country in Texas the Coach T Invitational,"
Andy Reinberg, Marcus Head Coach
"This season, there have been some challenging times here and there. Coming off of a lost track season and losing Coach T, the kids have had some time to reflect. They knew they were running for something and now trying to find that as we progress. The kids are starting to come together they're starting to get it, I'm very proud of them; they've responded well , they're strong kids and they're focused on what's to come."
It's easy to see how a community and a community can buckle under all of the pressure and the happenings of the last eight months. However, the Marcus community has come together. They've banded, supported one another, and helped counsel each other.
Getting down and having emotional collapses is a part of human nature. Getting back up is something the committed and strong willed do. So, how do you get back up and how do you keep the program moving forward? Reinberg said, "One of my mottos is 'Positive Only'; through this whole process of grieving and keeping the program on track."
Reinberg is a man of faith, and so was Telaneus; through the four years at Marcus with Telaneus it has been a time of spiritual growth. "He's taught me a lot and I'm hoping I can carry that on and prove that. He was always an encourager and I feel that all the with him."
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This weekend is the Coach T Invitational. Marcus alumni and community will also have a virtual 5K run that you can register for and contribute to the Marcus Booster Club, but also be able to virtually compete in the Coach T Invitational.