The roots of Jerry Baltes' track and cross country coaching career are quite literally in the soil, the grounds of the family farm where the former New Prairie runner learned the qualities that are fundamental to his success.

"Growing up on the family farm taught me a lifestyle of hard work," the Grand Valley State University coach said. "Anything you want to be good at, you have to work hard at it. That carried over. Cross country is a blue-collar lifestyle. It's not just the two hours of practice."

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