Alex Woodley Memorial Award given to outstanding athlete

By Diana Vilares
May 3, 2007

Tom O’Hora

Cabrini’s cross country and track and field awards dinner took place on March 22 in center city Philadelphia at Brazil’s restaurant.

Award recipients for the 2006 cross country season included Brian Zarley and Lauren Deas, who received the coach’s award and Carolyn Roberts, who received Most Valuable Player. Diamond Jones was MVP for 2006 indoor track and field, while outdoor track and field awarded Michelle Phan as this year’s MVP.

But the big award of the night didn’t go to a Cabrini student; it went to Bert Lancaster, who received the first annual Alex Woodley Memorial Award. Lancaster has been recognized as an “outstanding athlete and member of the religious and government service communities,” men’s track and field and cross country head coach Tom O’Hora said.

Lancaster’s resume includes awards and special recognitions, which include, but are not limited to, the American Spirit of Honor Medal and the Bronze Star Combat Medal.

“Bert Lancaster gave a rousing speech all about believing in yourself and never quitting no matter what the odds,” said O’Hora.

The Alex Woodley award will hang in the Dixon Center with the names of all of its recipients, including Lancaster’s as its first.

Alexander Jimenez Woodley was a Philadelphia native, track runner and later coach who traveled the world to recruit talented runners who collectively made up the Philadelphia Pioneers.

“You should further know that the Philadelphia Pioneers were the world’s best track club,” said O’Hora. “In the days before professional track and the shoe companies took over everything, the Pioneers were as close to being a pro as an athlete could get. It was a real honor to be chosen to run for the team.”

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Diana Vilares

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