It’s with great pride that we shine our employee spotlight on Raymond Cage, an ESS Area Manager in North Texas, who has been making some incredible athletic achievements! Ray has always had a passion for sports. He was a standout high school varsity football player in the late 80s and ran track for a year. In the early 90s, he was a boxing champion in the Air Force.
While watching the track and field events at the 2021 Olympics on TV, Ray was inspired to resume his track career after more than 35 years. He decided to compete in the 50M and 100M dash in the 50-55 age division in the National Senior Games. He asked his wife, Angela, to be his coach and trainer. Angela developed a training schedule for Ray which included stretching, running, lifting weights, and proper nutrition.
In 2021, Ray entered three sanctioned track meets for the National Senior Games. Ray competed in Topeka, Kansas on September 12th, winning the gold medal. He competed a second time almost a month later in Shawnee, Oklahoma on October 2nd, where he earned a silver medal. His last track meet in 2021 was in San Antonio, Texas on October 31st where he won another gold!
In March of this year, Ray won a gold medal in the 2022 Mississippi Senior Games in Gulfport, Mississippi. He then qualified to run in the 50M and 100M dash at the Texas Senior Games where he won gold medals in both events in April.
In May of this year, Ray competed in the National Senior Games. He advanced to the finals for the 50M and 100M dash. He ran a 6.81 in the 50M dash and finished in 6th place. In the 100M dash, he had a personal best of 12.54 and finished in 5th place. The competition was tough at the national level with only 0.12 of a second separating him from 1st place. It was bittersweet for Ray not to medal in the events, but he can proudly say that he is the 5th fastest 53-year-old in the United States!
Ray is already looking ahead to train to become stronger and faster over the next year. Since he placed in the top 8 at finals, he is automatically qualified to compete in the 2023 National Senior Games in Pittsburg, PA in July of 2023. “Being this was my first year competing, I’m confident I’ll get ‘em next year. I have 13 months to train and get stronger to compete and win.”
Ray credits his wife for her excellent coaching and the support of the ESS Texas Team led by Thomas Gifford for their positive words of encouragement before and after each track meet. Ray hopes to inspire others to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Throughout his travels around the US, Ray can be seen promoting ESS and recruiting people over 50 years old to become substitute teachers with ESS.
Thank you, Ray, for your inspiration to those around you and your willingness to encourage others. We see your undeniable work ethic to recruit others at your track meets around the country. We value the integral role you play and are fortunate to have you as a part of the ESS family!
Keep up the fantastic work, Ray!