Avondale brother and sister sing pre-race National Anthem

Avondale brother and sister sing pre-race National Anthem
Stella and Reed Krueger waiting to sing the National Anthem prior to the start of the Gate River Run.
Stella and Reed Krueger with their parents, Michelle and Dean, who both ran in the Gate River Run.

Stella and Reed Krueger with their parents, Michelle and Dean, who both ran in the Gate River Run.

Two Avondale siblings had the honor of singing the National Anthem prior to the 41st Annual Gate River Run March 10. Reed Krueger, a fourth-grade student at Riverside Presbyterian Day School, and his second-grade sister, Stella, learned the anthem by listening to their mother sing it for a variety of sporting events.

“We ran the New Year’s Eve 5K a few months ago and we were talking about ways to give back to the sport and volunteer,” said Michelle Krueger, an art teacher at The Episcopal School of Jacksonville and, along with her husband, Dean, an avid runner.

“I suggested singing the National Anthem and after they did it New Year’s Eve, Doug Alred, the race director, asked if they could do it for the River Run because he thought, ‘It would be a big hit. I think people will really like it!’ I don’t think the children understood the magnitude of the event but maybe that was a good thing,” she said.

The Krueger siblings sing at their school and have been in numerous musicals, said their mother, so performing in front of an audience wasn’t something new.

“I don’t think it was scary at all. I wasn’t nervous. I was really happy,” said Stella. “I mean I thought it was very exciting. It was really fun to me. I was happy I got to sing it for like a thousand people. It made me feel really good.”

Her older brother, Reed, didn’t mind the crowd of more than 12,000 participants either. “I personally like it because it was a big crowd. I like singing the National Anthem because it’s representing our country. It’s a free country and that you can grow up and be whatever you want to be. Like when I grow up I want to be a baseball player but I also want to be a singer. So just don’t give up on your dreams!” he said.

Both parents ran the Gate River Run 15K, finishing in or near the top 10 percent. “I unexpectedly was the third female masters winner overall, earning a $100 cash prize,” said Michelle, who placed 55th out of 6,045 women with a time of 1:03:26. Dean placed 521 out of 5,027 men with a time of 1:08:18. 

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