Climax-Scotts Runner Makes National Team, Family Needs Help Funding Trip

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CLIMAX, Mich. — Rick and Christy Ulsh were floored when their son Eldon told them he wanted to run track his freshman year at Climax-Scotts High School.

“His dad and I both looked at each other and went, ‘What?!'” Christy laughs.

Eldon had never played a sport in his life. So what was the appeal?

“I got to run,” he says. “I got to meet people from different schools. Had loads of fun with all of my friends for cross-country and track. Just took off from there, I guess.”


That’s an understatement.

In the definite example of natural ability, Eldon has qualified for Michigan’s Class D State meet twice in two seasons of running cross-country.

Now, he’s been selected as one of 300 runners across the nation to represent his country at the Down Under Sports Games in Australia in July. The trip includes a week of sightseeing and competition.

The invite was a shock.

“I was happy as can be!” Eldon says.


“Hysterical,” Christy says. “We didn’t know how to react or respond. I mean, how often do you get a letter saying, ‘We’d like your son to represent the USA?'”


“We’re in a small, small rural town in Michigan,” Rick says. “You just don’t hear about these things too often.”

Especially considering Eldon’s lack of experience – and his personal struggles. Rick and Christy say their son has suffered through a number of disabilities in his life, including a speech impairment.

This accomplishment is a testament to his determination and perseverance, they say.

But to send Eldon and his coach to the Games would cost around $9,000 – money the family just doesn’t have. So the Ulshs are starting to ask around about setting up fundraisers to send their son on this dream trip.

No matter where he is in the world – Eldon Ulsh has made his impression felt.

“You think highly of your children,” Rick says, “and then when something like this comes along, it amazes you and takes up your pride that much more.”


The Ulshs are hoping to get the money raised in four months. If they get it all, Eldon and his coach will leave for Australia on July 2.

Donations can be made in Eldon’s name at the Sturgis Bank & Trust in Climax. Funds can also be sent directly to Climax-Scotts High School at 372 South Main Street, Climax, MI 49034.

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12 comments

  • CC Coach

    Any athlete who responds to these mass mailings "makes" the team. This company gleans names from the news, then offers a "chance of a lifetime". Boys and girls that place in state races all make the team. The company hopes that at least a couple will bite so that they can make money. Research and beware!

  • JULIE TILLER

    SIGN ME UP TO HELP WITH FUNDRAISING. Climax-Scotts may be little but we have a heart of gold……Ler's get the ball rolling for Eldon.

  • Courtney

    you can donate two ways there is an account set up at sturgis bank and trust in climax.Put eldons name on the donations cash can be deposited to or donations send to 7031 south 47 street climax mi 49034.. Pleas Make sure to Put everything in Eldon UIsh. Thank you for the help he really deserves this.

  • Dioji

    Thanks Courtney, I was thinking how lame, no link and no info., not even on pay it forward.
    This kid is cool and he needs help. Do you know when he plans on going?

  • Courtney

    The family has decided to send the donations to the high school which is 372 S Main St Climax, MI 49034. Please do not send it to their address

  • Tracy

    My son runs xc for a local school too and went to state this year. He also received this letter. I don't think they really invited 300 people, they might get that many. But i'm thinking that anyone that went to State this year boy or girl probably received this letter. Good luck to your son, it might be his calling 🙂