Dan Taylor left his mark on Fort Dodge's distance running programs.
By winning two Drake Relays titles, a pair of state championships in track and another in cross country, Taylor was part of a foundation that Lisa Uhl (Koll) continued.
Now, Uhl will be able to add another block when she runs in the 10,000 this Friday at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Uhl is currently in London, but Taylor will be rooting her on from his home in Denver, Colo.
"There is no better person to cheer for at the games," Taylor said. "Fort Dodge, Iowa State, the state of Iowa and the country should be extremely proud to have her represent the United States."
Taylor was a senior at Fort Dodge Senior High when Uhl entered the high school ranks. Former Dodger coach Jeff Wubbena talked about Uhl coming out of middle school to Taylor and Pat Blair.
"(Wubbena) told us that there was a runner coming up from Phillips Middle School who could be pretty good," Taylor said. "From there, it's been a steady progression to where she is today. You could tell even back then that she had the potential to be really good. There is the same look of fierce determination on her face today on the national stage as there was at the Manson Northwest Webster cross country invite in 2001."
Taylor went on to become a Cyclone, and Uhl followed him there a few years later. It was Taylor who interested her to future husband Kiel Uhl, a former Drake Relays and state champion from Des Moines Roosevelt.
"Her husband, Kiel, and I were teammates at ISU on a run the summer before Lisa's freshman year," Taylor said. "He asked if there were any cool girls coming on to the women's team. I told him about Lisa and he took the idea and 'ran' with it."
Taylor believes that Kiel had a lot to do with the improvements Lisa made through college, adding, "it seemed like his influence really introduced her to what it takes to be a really good runner."