04/12/14 - 11:04pm
“Nobody ever won the Kentucky Derby riding a mule.”
As the state championships piled up for Soldotna High School in cross-country and track, I would ask head coach Mark Devenney, who died April 4 in Nebraska at the age of 69, why he won so much in post-meet interviews.
He would immediately deflect credit from himself, Kentucky Derby quip at the ready.
And by the time Devenney retired from Soldotna in 2005 after 14 years as teacher, track and field coach and cross-country coach, the Derby line had become a ritual joke between us because of SoHi’s repeated success.