Former Broome, SMC runner involved in accident

Former Broome and Spartanburg Methodist College runner Jeremy Vangsnes was involved in a car accident Tuesday night in Bozeman, Mont., according to Broome coach Skip Frye.

UPDATE: Jeremy's parents, Mark and Kathy are now in Montana along with his older brother, Travis, Frye told scrunners Wednesday evening.

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Other relatives that live in North Dakota are also in Montana.

"We have some positives today, but there is still a long way to go" said Frye. "They did a procedure to relieve pressure and fluid from the brain. There has been more brain activity than as expected. He has had some movement. Please ask folks to please remember this fine family and young man in their prayers."

A CaringBridge Web site has been set up at this link.

Editor's note: More details will be posted as made available.

"A CAT scan was done late last night and showed no brain activity," said Frye. "Also in the car involved in the head-on collision were Jeremy's two brothers, Danny and Ryan. Ryan was also a harrier at Broome that made the All-State team in 2007."

Vangsnes earned All-State honors as a junior and senior at Broome. He was also an important piece of the Centurions' state track championships in 2005 and 2006. He set school records in cross country and earned All-American honors in the NJCAA National Half Marathon while attending Spartanburg Methodist.

"Jeremy is the epitome of a student-athlete," said SMC coach Mike Foley. "He was a three-time Academic All-American at SMC and the school's first athletic All-American for the men's cross country team.

"More than that, he was a great leader as a team captain, not only by his individual work ethic, but his ability to lead others."

"Jeremy was the last runner I recruited and signed while at Spartanburg Methodist College," said now Riverside coach Eric Cummings.  "I spent a year getting to know him and his family while trying to get him to come to SMC to run. I did not have the opportunity to coach him, since I left for Riverside High School, but knew him as a great and respectful young man with a strong sense of family."

"They had been on a trip to visit relatives and were returning at the time of the accident," said Frye."

Frye told Jeremy and his brothers were spending their second summer in West Yellowstone with a Baptist missionary group.

"His brother Danny did a semester practicum for my wife Karen at Wellford Elementary during the 2007-2008 school year," said Cummings.  "She said Danny has the potential to be an outstanding elementary school teacher and was great with her kids and the other kids at Wellford Elementary."

"I have been lucky to have worked with many good kids, but Jeremy Vangsnes was absolutely one of the finest young men you could hope to have on your team," Frye said. "He was a devout Christian that had a passion for not only running, but for life and making a mark quietly with his life and serving others. I am thankful that he was around to set a glowing example to all the kids in our program, including my two children."

Foley concluded, "He is a fun-loving guy, but a fierce competitor. I am sure I can speak for his many teammates and friends here at SMC that we're in shock about the accident and we're all praying for him and the Vangsnes family."

"Jeremy is amongst one of the strongest Christians I know," said SMC teammate Ross Kaiser. "In the classroom or on the course, Jeremy personified what a true follower of Christ is. His attitude towards life is like none other. He loved everyone regardless of there flaws. He is almost like the late runner Steve Prefontaine. He pushed to see who had the most guts! He did this in both aspects of life through his faith and through his running. Whenever an issue occured Jeremy took the problem on with everything he had. When I heard of the accident my heart nearly dropped. A gift from God- in an accident! I couldn't believe such a thing.The thoughts and memories came back to me at a fast pace. (Like Jeremy). I continually pray not only for his family but for him as a brother in Christ that he be healed by Christ and continue to follow Christ's plan for his life."