By Per Peterson
Kris DeRuyck achieved all kinds of success on the court as an athlete at Tracy Area High School, but her biggest individual achievement came on the track when she finished first at state in the Class A 300-meter hurdles her senior year. And the 1997 TAHS graduate said that might not have ever happened had it not been for Paul Soupir.
“He encouraged me to run track,” DeRuyck said Monday. “Some coaches say, ‘Just focus on this sport or just do this,’ but he said, ‘Go do it, go help the team. If you enjoy it, go do it.’ If he would’ve discouraged me to run track, I probably wouldn’t have done it. He came to my graduation party and said, ‘Just think, you could’ve walked away from this.’ He just always tried to challenge everybody to do their best and do what they enjoy.”
Soupir died Saturday at the age of 62, a little more than a year after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.