Running Phenom Adds Olympics Coach to His Resume
In high school, Ben Rosario ‘98 excelled as a prolific runner – arguably the best in SLUH history. Today he continues to achieve new levels of success, now as a running coach on a new stage: the Olympics.
Rosario, who coaches the HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite team in Flagstaff, Az., had six of his athletes competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on February 29 in Atlanta, Ga. It was a special day for the women. Aliphine Tuliamuk won the race and qualified to represent the U.S. at this summer's Olympic Games. In addition, Kellyn Taylor was eighth and Stephanie Bruce finished sixth. In the men’s race, Sid Vaughn was forced to drop out of the race due to stomach pain around 19 miles. Scott Fauble and Scott Smith were 12th and 19th, respectively.
“The athletes I coach are both my motivation and my inspiration,” says Rosario. “I am cognizant of the role I play in their lives and it motivates me to make sure that role is a positive one. They inspire me daily with the dedication they have for their craft and I feel a responsibility to be equally dedicated, if not more so, to my job as coach.”
Rosario’s resume reads like a runner’s dream. He was a four-year cross country runner, team captain and All-State at SLUH. He was a successful Division-II college runner and All-American at Truman State, a two-time Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier and was second in the 2005 US Marathon Championships. He ran a 4:03 mile and a 2:18 marathon.
In addition to running, Rosario co-founded the Big River Running company in St. Louis and has directed big running events, including the SLUH-hosted Festival of Miles and the USA Cross Country Championships. He served as an assistant cross country coach at SLUH, a professional coach for the McMillan Running Company and is the now Head Coach and President of the HOKA ONE ONE.
According to his SLUH cross country coach, Jim Linhares, who now serves as the school’s Assistaint Principal for Mission, "From the first time I met him as a freshman, Ben was a guy who pointed to the next big goal, for himself and the cross country team. His ambition elevated the aspirations of everybody around him. Obviously, he is still doing that for NAZ Elite.
“The other remarkable thing about Ben is the integrity with which he approaches everything. He puts people first and makes sure his own underlying motivation and the motivation of his athletes are where they should be and that distractions and negativity are out of the way."
Off the cross country course, Linhares and Rosario share a unique bond. They pair collaborated to co-author Tradition Class Pride: Building a Cross Country Dynasty, published in 2015. The coaching book reveals the secrets to building a high school cross country dynasty, covering everything from pre-season parent meetings to post-season awards banquets, as well as how to train and peak for championship meets. In between, Linhares shares stories of success (and failure) from his 25-year coaching career.
"Working with Ben on the book was one of the coolest creative experiences of my life. If you're writing a book on cross country, what more could you ask for than a collaboration with a runner, coach and friend who cares so much about the sport that he wants to share what he knows with other coaches?"