The performances turned in by current and former Harwood Union and Vermont cross-country runners high in the Pyrenees Mountains in the principality of Andorra are impressive.

The runners, Erin Magill, Seth Beard, Jonas Merchant, Willa Yonkman, Sam Hodges (Middlebury), Brendan Magill and Morgan Baughman, were among the hundreds of racers from across the world who competed in the 2017 Youth Skyrunning World Championships.

Skyrunning events feature inclines of greater than 30 percent and finish lines above 2,000 meters. The Harwood Union and Vermont runners, trained on the hills of Duxbury and the hills in Vermont, more than held their own against some pretty elite runners. That’s very impressive and an excellent testament to their own grit and the value of Harwood Union’s cross-country program and its coaches, including longtime coach John Kerrigan.

It says a lot about the value of living and training in Vermont where it’s all but impossible to get any exercise without going up a hill, often a steep one. It comes with the terrain here – literally. Congrats to these student athletes and their coaches and their proud friends and families.

Not impressive

It’s really not impressive when the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, our commander in chief, urges law enforcement personnel to be careless about their use of force.
In response to a recent speech by President Trump, Thomas D. Anderson, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, and Colonel Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police, like countless law enforcement agencies across the country, issued a statement denouncing the president’s words.

“All Vermont communities rightfully expect that law enforcement in Vermont will have an uncompromising commitment to principles of professionalism, including responsibility and compassion for all individuals with whom they come into contact. This includes the general public, motorists and those taken into custody for criminal activity. Under no circumstance is a police officer permitted to use force that is not reasonable or legally permissible. All certified police officers in Vermont, including the Vermont State Police, receive extensive training on the proper use of force to ensure the prudent, reasonable and careful use of force under the circumstances,” they wrote in a joint statement.

It’s not impressive that our public safety people have to remind the president of these facts.