Negaunee Miners’ record-setting runner Emily Paupore dedicates win to Coach Lisa Bigalk’s late sister
“It was Coach Bigalk’s sister’s birthday (today) and she passed away a few years ago,” Paupore said right after the race.
“Right before the race she (Bigalk) told me that and I said I’m going to run it for her.
“Every single time I started to struggle, I said to myself ‘OK, we’ve got this, I can do this.’
“I just wanted to do it for them and make it a special run today.”
Bigalk’s sister, Anni Hill, passed away from cancer in 2016 at age 58. She lived in Longview, Washington, an area where Bigalk grew up.
While Hill was never a runner herself, the Negaunee coach stated that she was a big supporter of Bigalk and high school athletics.
She was also an official at some meets in Washington.
“She was a big supporter of mine,” Bigalk said.
“We were very, very close and she always kept up with how I and my teams were doing.”
“She was older than me but when I left school she stayed in my hometown community and volunteered and helped at all of the high school athletic events, especially cross country.”
Bigalk appreciated the small but meaningful tribute from her standout runner.
“It was nice to have something to look forward to and to have the race dedicated to her,” the coach said.
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