Passing of An Athlete, Coach, Friend


It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of former Heps champion and Dartmouth women’s cross country coach Maribel Sanchez Souther.  She passed away on New Years Eve after a battle with breast cancer at the age of 41.

Souther – then Sanchez – was the leader of the Dartmouth’s women cross country success in the early 1990s, as the Big Green women won three Heps XC titles and competed at NCAAs from 1994 to 1996, with a program best finish of 5th in 1996.  Sanchez herself won a total of 7 Heps titles – two in cross country, two in indoor track, and three in outdoor track – and earned four All-American honors (two in cross country, one in indoor track, one in outdoor track).  She was honored as Dartmouth’s female athlete of the year in 1996.  After graduating, she continued to run professionally in the 5,000m.  She qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials but was unable to compete due to injury.

Souther’s journey brought her back to Dartmouth in the fall of 2002 where she joined the Dartmouth’s coaching staff as an intern under then-coach Ellen O’Neil, ultimately running the track & field/cross country program the following year after O’Neil’s departure and coaching Melanie Schorr (Dartmouth ’06) to All-American honors in 2005.  She continued to coach the Big Green until 2010 when she stepped down to focus on her family.

Coach Barry Harwick shared the following in an email that was delivered to the Friends of Dartmouth TF/XC:

“Far more important than her many accomplishments was Maribel’s role as a mother, spouse, sister, daughter and friend. She was a caring person that made life-long friends wherever she went. She was a spiritual person that truly cared for all the people that came into her life. 

On a personal note, this is a particularly sad time for Sandra Ford-Centonze and me. We knew Maribel as a runner on our first team at Dartmouth and she was a frequent babysitter for our children. We took pride in having her join us as a colleague on the coaching staff for many years. Even after she stopped coaching to focus on raising her children she was a frequent visitor to Dartmouth for meets and practices.”

Details about services and the calling hours are available here.  Our condolences to the Dartmouth and Souther families.

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