Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 12, 2007

Saying Goodbye: Central lake mourns star runner Shay


"Ryan was a great teacher," Piane said. "... The most subtle teacher I've ever known."

Vigil, who began coaching Shay after he graduated from Notre Dame six years ago, said Shay's determination to be the best was impressive.

Vigil said that once, during a training session in the mountains, Shay became lost, and hours passed before Shay showed up at the designated meeting point.

Vigil said Shay was noticeably angry, having walked 31 miles in addition to running 15. Vigil offered to give him the following day off.

Shay refused.

"Coach, I came here to be a champion," Vigil quoted Shay as saying.

"We're all born ordinary. Only a few of us become extraordinary," Vigil said. "Ryan was just such an individual."

Said Piane: "If my son turns out to be half the man that Ryan was, I'll be a happy dad."

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