Monday, March 11, 2013

First Half Marathon deemed a success

St. Bernard Prep School hosted their first Half-Marathon recently through the wooded trails of the St. Bernard Abbey Treasure Forest.  Seventy-nine runners registered for the event  from Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama; and seventy-two finished the trail  race.
Roger Blalock and William Calvert were all smiles Saturday morning as runners arrived  to register.  Cool morning temperatures provided a great start to the morning race.  
Fr. Joel Martin, OSB, President of St. Bernard Prep School was on hand to open the ceremony with a prayer and to start the race.
Former Cullman High School and George Tech standout, E.C. Gibbs claimed the course with a record time of 1:25:43.00, followed by Dink Taylor of Huntsville 1:29.48.00. Taylor was the masters winner (0ver 40) as well. Eric Charette  of Huntsville was 3rd place with a time of Female winner (7th place overall) was Emily Spry of Elkmont with a time of 1:43:14.00. Laura Brock of Cullman was 2nd female (9th place overall) with a time of 1:46:12.00. Rachel Eidson of Huntsville was 3rd female (20th place overall) with a time of 1:57:32.00.  Erica Davis of Hartselle was the female masters winner (30th place overall) with a time of 2:12:44.00. Male grandmasters winner (over 50) was Duane Ricketts of Cullman (5th place overall) with a time of 1:37:59.00. Female grandmasters winner was Susan Methvin of Loretto, Tn.  (24th place overall) with a time of 2:05:07.00.
 Calvert said it was a resounding success (72 finishers).  “We hope to make it an annual event, and look for it to grow into a much anticipated event on the race calendar each year.”
Calvert thanked all that took part as participants, volunteers, photographers, spectators  and of course our sponsors.  “All of our people did a fantastic job in pulling this event together for a smooth start and finish,” Calvert said.
Blalock said the event is sure to grow.  “We have had so much positive response not only about the trails, but the wonderful hospitality shown to the runners,” Blalock said.
Runners were treated to fresh fruit, muffins, cookies, water, coffee, chocolate milk, Pepsi and Gatorade.  Local restaurant owners Ralph and Annette Harris of Rumor’s Deli provided delicious boiled oatmeal cookies and photography for the runners; and Sweet Peppers Deli owners David and Maria Steele  donated wonderful sack lunches of sandwiches, cookies and chips provided to participants at the end of their run. 
St. Bernard will host the Bloomin’ Festival 5K/10K on Saturday, April 20 to kick off the 29th Annual Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts Fair in Cullman.



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Saint Bernard looking to 2013-2014

Cullman, AL  Dozens of families visited St. Bernard Prep School at the Spring Open House recently to  familiarize themselves  with the school and the  residential community life offered by the Benedictine Monks at St. Bernard Abbey.

Admissions Director, Dr. Donna Bryant said the majority of families in attendance were from Alabama, and one family came from Freer, Texas.  “We are very fortunate that our enrollment has remained steady, and expect the number of applicants to pick up in the next month as parents begin making decisions for the upcoming school year.”

Student ambassadors took a prominent leadership role in Open House activities by leading tours at the Abbey Church, gymnasium and classroom building.  They also provided the welcoming remarks to open the day.  Additionally the drama department, under the direction of Mr. Rodney Fike provided a short skit from the upcoming Wizard of Oz production.  The Saints All Star Band under the direction of Mr. Lester Harris entertained guests with several tunes as well.

“Our guests remarked on the poise and confidence with which our students spoke and presented themselves,” Dr. Bryant said.  “Several prospective students are planning to return to take part in our Shadow Day Program.”

Shadow Day gives students an opportunity to see what student life is all about at St. Bernard Prep.   Bryant said,  “We place our guests in a classroom of their peers, and this experience gives them a real insight to the  learning experience at St. Bernard.”

Anyone interested in visiting the campus for a Shadow Day or receiving more information about St. Bernard Prep  should contact the school at (256)739-6682 or visit  Like the school on