FSRC Memorial Scholarship Winners


Reilly Caldwell

Starting with the Middletown Knight Striders at the age of eight, Reilly has been an avid runner throughout elementary, middle and high school. With all of her running experience it was natural that she would share her experience with others, coaching, and planning workouts for twenty plus young runners this past fall.

Not all has been easy going. An irritated metatarsal followed by a fractured sesamoid bone taught Reilly to “Listen to doctor’s orders”.

Her coach, Paul Spurrier wrote, “… She is a great teammate… a positive leader that goes out of her way to be support for any and all her teammates”.

Heading to Furman University in the fall of 2017, Reilly looks to continue running and volunteerism with the team at Greenville Children’s Hospital.

From her essay:

“Running has taught me patience in the face of adversity” … “Running has shaped what I want to do in college…. I want to focus on biomechanics”.

Catie Lee

Catie attended Frederick High where she was the Senior Class President. Her running career started early with the FAA Running Club under the direction of Mark Lawrence. She has a long history of running. Tearing an ACL in February 2016, Catie rehabbed in five months to run cross country events sporting a knee brace.

With a strong history of volunteerism to match her running resume, Catie met and exceeded all that we are looking for in a scholarship winner.

From Catie’s scholarship essay:

“Running is not about being the fastest. It’s not about being the strongest. It’s not about winning, running is about heart and character” …… “Running is not just a sport; it is a way of life”

Tim Rivard

Dealing with setbacks was a part of Tim Rivard’s running career at Urbana High School.   

After a stellar sophomore year running with the Varsity Cross Country Team, Tim hit a rough patch, dealing with a series of injuries, flu, and bronchitis. Missing spring track, he trained hard over summer break just to break his heel three days prior to the start of cross country.

Tim decided to stay with the team volunteering as team manger during his junior year returning to the team as a Senior Captain the next.

From his essay Tim wrote, “It wasn’t the actual running that had the biggest impact on the person I am today; it was the NOT running that did” …..  “it taught me how to take setbacks in stride and keep moving forward.

Hannah Ropp

A twelve season runner at Brunswick High School, Hannah began running and volunteering early in life, joining the Blue Ridge Express Running Club when she was in fourth grade, even earlier with a lemonade stand, raising dollars for Hurricane Katrina residents when she was six.

In addition to running cross country, and indoor and outdoor track, Hannah was a top student, class officer, and somehow found time to be a violinist. (Seated as first violin with the Frederick Regional Youth Symphony)

From her essay:

“I have enjoyed opportunities where I can directly help those less fortunate than me” ….. “My values and goals are important to me: running and volunteering help me to achieve them.”

Braden Smolko

Dreading PE “Mile Day” in elementary and middle school, Braden struggled to keep up with his classmates. “Heavy legs” plagued him, as well as weight and self- image issues.

Heading to Urbana High School, with an understanding of his condition, Braden changed his diet and constructed a training plan with his mother to try out for the Urbana Cross Country Team. A 16:30 two mile time was required; with hard summer work behind him Braden sprinted to the finish in just under 16:30.

From just barely making the team to senior captain, Rev. Chris Bishop (Character Coach for Urbana) wrote, “Braden’s humble leadership is amazing to watch. He doesn’t lead out of a feeling of athletic superiority, or any expectation that power is owed him because he is a senior. He leads because he wants everyone to get better.”

Perhaps his experience in elementary and middle school led him to creating an anti-bullying website as a freshman. (ncourageteens.com). He has participated in multiple volunteer trips to Haiti, community service work, and tutors other students struggling with math.

From his essay:  “My volunteer activities have made me realize I can make a difference” …… “Overcoming my own challenges made me want to give back to others” ….


Blake Capella

Blake Capella set the bar high as one of the first recipients of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club Memorial. Blake ran throughout high school. While he may have quick feet with 5:12 mile and 17:59 5k PR’s, what sets Blake apart from others is his character.

Blake’s volunteer work is extensive. In addition to volunteering for aid stations at local ultra races, he has volunteered at the Walkersville Community Food Bank and participated in the United Way’s Summer Serve Program. He was also the vice president of the National Honor Society at Walkersville High School, and facilitated volunteer events such as Relay for Life and a Thanksgiving food drive.

Anna Hartman

Anna Hartman stands out as the first deserving honoree of the inaugural FSRC Memorial Scholarship in 2016 because of her commitment to serving runners, her strong character, and selflessness. You would never know Anna was a teenager when runners pull into one of her aid stations, be it Rick’s Run or the C&O Canal 100. She greets each runner as if they are family, anticipates their needs, and provides them with fuel and encouragement to finish the race.

Anna participated in 12 seasons of running as a high school athlete, becoming captain for indoor and outdoor track during her senior year. She is proud to have qualified for states with her cross country team her junior and senior years.

Running for Anna though is about more than competition. At Rick’s Run in 2016, Anna successfully challenged her boundaries of distance by running three loops. “I just felt so good – so encouraged, so happy, so blissful. That’s what running is about to me. Not running for competition, but for the spirit of the run.”