By Chardonnae Parker / Delta staff writer
Missouri Valley College is a home of family, togetherness and tradition. During Homecoming week hundreds of Valley’s alumni flooded campus and Marshall to see old friends, old teachers, and old coaches.
Missouri Valley is constantly changing and evolving, but for many some traditions stayed the same.
Since 1950’s Missouri Valley College has started Homecoming with an annual torch run.
“The torch run started I think back in 1958 when the football team played a bowl game in Florida,” said Tom Hayob, assistant women’s basketball coach. “They ran the torch from Marshall to Florida to the bowl game and that was the start of it, and it continued ever since.”
Hayob noted that Ed Leslie, one of the students in the first run, continued to participate for years even when he was a member of the MVC faculty.
“Mr. Leslie would take his car Henrietta and follow behind the runner or lead the way,” he said. “So, it is always great to kick off the weekend by keeping up tradition”
At one point in the late 70s the college took a break from the run while, Mr. Leslies was apart from the college. Not long after the tradition picked back up when he returned, and the torch run had rolled ever since. Five years ago, Missouri Valley altered its tradition by making the torch run a 5k run.
“It’s been a neat thing to start the new tradition with the torch run around campus, the 5k,” Hayob said.
In the torch run, each team is represented with two athletes. The athletes run three laps around the campus and the track. Winners for both the men’s and women’s side not only earn bragging rights but also get to light the ceremonial bonfire with a torch.
This year top three teams for the men’s side was soccer coming in first and men’s basketball sweeping second and third. On the women’s side basketball took first and second with volleyball coming in third.
Shanelle Tolley also the fastest women’s time of the torch run, beating her own record set just last year. The male winner, Mark Paige for men’s soccer set a personal best time for his first torch run.