Son on a mission: a medal for dad |

Son on a mission: a medal for dad

John HartTrevor Newell (50) running in the 2002 Lyman Gilmore Cross-Country Invitational.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

“I’m going to win a medal for my dad today,” Trevor Newell told Tammy Jennings, a family friend, Thursday morning. He was on a mission.

Trevor’s father, Dennis Newell, a longtime Penn Valley resident, died Tuesday in a construction accident in Roseville. His funeral is scheduled for today, and family members have each planned to place an item in the casket as a memorial.

Trevor, 9, wanted a gold medal to be his contribution.

It was important to him to do this for his father as a form of closure, his mother, Debbie Newell, told Jennings.

A member of Ready Springs School cross-country team, Trevor competed Thursday in the 2002 Lyman Gilmore Cross-Country Invitational. It is one of the largest meets of the season, with about 400 fourth- through eighth-grade runners from 21 area schools participating.

Members of Nevada Union High School’s cross-country team were on hand to run with the young athletes, offering encouragement.

“Trevor’s focused on winning,” said coach Veo Cassaro before the race. “His family is supportive of everything that he does.”

Trevor’s family was out in force, 16 strong, to cheer him on in the one-mile race.

Attending were his mother, brothers Michael and Dustin, his aunts and uncles, a grandmother and four cousins.

Trevor’s finished 19th out of 63 runners. Normally, medals are awarded to the top 15 individual finishers in each division. A special exception was made in this case, however, and when Trevor crossed the finish line, a green-ribboned medal was hung around his neck, acknowledging his effort and courage. His family flocked around him to offer hugs and congratulations.

Trevor had a medal to give to his dad.

Donations to the Dennis A. Newell Memorial Fund to help pay his sons’ education costs can be made at Placer Sierra Bank branches in Penn Valley and Grass Valley. The account number is 592488430.

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