The Columbus City League is full of great history that dates to before 1900.

The Columbus City League is full of great history that dates to before 1900.

Great athletes and teams have established great records, and there are families which have provided outstanding athletes for generations. One of those families which is writing current history is the Reese clan of Centennial High School.

Three years ago, Nicole Reese won the last of her three consecutive City League girls cross country championships, and in 2006 her younger sister, Rebekah, won the first of her two in a row. Now a senior, she will go for No. 3 on Oct. 7 at Whetstone Park.

It could be six years in a row that a Reese girl wins the title. How proud could these parents be?

"I sort of feel like Nicole passed the torch on to me," said Rebekah, who earlier this season took first place in the Central Ohio Invitational. "My sister, who is now running for Otterbein, was a major influence on me getting where I am in distance running. She always talked to me about how she loved practicing and competing and I think I just naturally wanted to follow her example.

"Now as a senior in high school, I still love it when she comes to my races because it helps me battle through the race. To be a two-time City champion is quite an honor, and to have five straight first-place finishes in my family is a payback for all the hard work that Nicole and I have done."

Rebekah has learned a lot through running.

"I really enjoy everything about running," she said. "I have learned to understand lots of elements have to go into being successful in cross country. Hard training is a necessity, and you have to come into each school year with a solid base from workouts throughout the summer and you have to know that all the hard work will pay off in achieving your goals.

"I love the sense of freedom you get when you run and I love the mental challenge that running presents to you. In every race that I run, I know that my mind will ultimately determine how well I do. Your mind makes up how tired you are and if you tell your mind that you can push on then your legs just follow. I also have learned that to be good in this sport, rest is very important especially during the school year."

Rebekah also said that success in her high school career has changed her as a runner and as a person.

"Throughout my four years of high school I have continued to develop confidence in running," she said. "I know how to take on mileage, how to use fluids when I am running and how to always be positive. I love the competitive aspect of running and that competitive side of me has carried over to my academics.

"Running has definitely made me a harder worker in every part of my life and it has made me better in the classroom, in friendships, in relationships with my parents and, of course, in sports. I want to continue running in college, and one of the possibilities for me next year is Otterbein, where I would get to run with my sister again. That would be great."

Great is the perfect word to describe what the Reese sisters have accomplished in the City League. It truly is all in the family.

I'll see you at a meet.