Classic Mile to benefit Summerville runner

SUMMERVILLE - Summerville High is hosting a special event next month in support of one of its students who was injured while helping clean up his home following Hurricane Matthew.

The Outdoor Classic Mile will be held Nov. 19 at the school's track.

Kelly Hazel, cross country coach at Summerville is organizing the event to benefit Victor Shellhammer, a member of the cross country team who suffered a fractured skull and other injuries from a fallen tree.

The accident happened Oct. 9, while Shellhammer was helping remove debris and a tree from the family's backyard following the storm.

"He was out of the way when someone told him to move and he moved into the falling tree's path," Hazel said.

Shellhammer was airlifted to MUSC in Charleston where he remained for several days.
  He is now at his home.

"He is improving daily," Hazel said. Full recovery will take up to eight weeks, she said.

Shellhammer just turned 16 in September. The junior started running during cross country during the middle of his freshman year.
  He also competes in the 1600 and qualified for state with a PR of 4:30, Hazel said. He has moved up to number-two runner this season on the varsity boys cross country team.

"Victor is one of our team captains. He is a natural leader in workouts. He has a fun-loving spirit and great character," Hazel said.

Shellhammer has been taking his summer training on the road, she said, spending at least two weeks in the high altitude of western Colorado, where he spends time with an uncle.

"He talks about running for Colorado State when he graduates," Hazel said.

Jackson Ellenburg, a senior and teammate of Shellhammer, said he, along with most of the Summerville runners, plans to enter the Classic.

"He's a hard worker," Ellenburg said of Shellhammer. "He's always ready to run."

Ellenburg, who's family moved to Summerville this school year from athletic rival Ashley Ridge High, said Shellhammer's accident would serve as motivation to those Summerville runners positioned below Shellhammer.

"He was our number two runner and for those at number three and down, they're definitely motivated to move up for him," Ellenburg said.

Visitors would be welcome at the Shellhammer home in days ahead, Hazel said, but they should contact a family member to make sure Victor is up to it. His mother may drive him to a future practice to say hello, again when he's ready.

The Outdoor Mile Classic is open to all runners. The first heats will start at 8 a.m. for runners 12 and under, followed by high school runners at 9 a.m. and open ages (20 and older) at 10:30, and masters (40 and older) at 11 a.m.
  Each heat consists of four laps around the track.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Shellhammer family, Hazel said.

For more information or to register visit
http://sc.milesplit.com/meets/255527.

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