Former Owls finish college careers
BOLIVAR -- For more than a decade, Jeremy Glassmaker and Michael McCampbell have been nearly inseparable.
However, with their recent graduation from Southwest Baptist University, both are moving on.
Glassmaker and McCampbell led the Marshall boys' cross country team to back-to-back third-place finishes in the 2003-04 MSHSAA Class 3 Championships, a first for the program. Their consistently excellent performances drew the attention of the NCAA Division II school in Bolivar, where they continued to excel after graduating from high school in 2006.
Besides being friends and training partners since the seventh grade, they were also rivals.
"We would race and train together, pushing each other to get better," Glassmaker recalled.
"My freshman year ... it was me, Jeremy and another guy (Shaun Berning) and we made it to state in cross country," McCampbell said. "It really opened our eyes."
A similar awakening occurred during their first day in college, with an evening run after moving in.
"They were flying and I had to keep pace," McCampbell said. "I thought to myself that these guys are super fast, and we might be pretty good."
The former Owls made the grade -- both on the running circuit and in the classroom. Glassmaker was all-MIAA all four seasons in cross country, holding the third-best eight-kilometer time in SBU history (25:03). He was all-region last year and helped the Bearcats to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Championships.
Glassmaker was also part of the national runner-up medley relay team during the 2009 indoor track season and the school's record-setting outdoor 3,200-meter and 6,400-meter relays -- named all-conference his final three years in school.
McCampbell was all-MIAA in cross country in 2008, with the fifth-best time by an SBU harrier (25:52). He holds the school's record in the outdoor 10k (31:38.69), making the all-conference team in 2008.
At the 2009 national cross country meet, McCampbell was recognized for his academic achievements with an NCAA Elite 88 Award and is a four-time member of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association all-academic team. He was a 2008-09 CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.
Glassmaker and McCampbell -- along with four fellow seniors -- comprised the most successful group of running talent in school history, according to head coach Corey McElhaney.
"To lose two great leaders like Jeremy and Michael is devastating, but I will never forget the great times we had," McElhaney said. "There was never a dull moment with those two, that's for sure.
"The most important legacy these two left was that you can still be a very successful runner, have a firm faith and rock-solid character," he added. "These two young men were role models for the rest of the team and the university."
While their bonds of friendship may last a lifetime, these Owl brothers are now going their separate ways.
Glassmaker is planning an August wedding to SBU teammate Kristin Colon and a move to Osage Beach, armed with a degree in elementary education. McCampbell is studying sage grass habitats with the Colorado Division of Wildlife until September, at which time he may return to Missouri for graduate school.
(Additional reporting by Justin Wollard/SBU)