Running down their dreams

Dickinson State junior cross country runners and brothers Denis Patrick, left, and Daniel Patrick parents fled Sudan and Uganda for America when they were children.

More than a decade after their family fled Africa, the Patrick brothers are living the American dream as cross country runners and students at Dickinson State.

Run! The word has so many meanings for Denis and Daniel Patrick. As children, it meant escaping danger. As students at Dickinson State, running is helping Denis, 23, and Daniel, 21, build their lives in ways they never would have believed possible a little more than a decade ago. “I always tell these kids, ‘Running’s not everything, but it can get you to where you want to go,’” Dickinson State head cross country coach Mike Nekuda said.

The Patrick brothers are living by that attitude.

Refugees from war-torn Uganda and sons of Sudanese refugees, the Patrick brothers are soaking in every aspect of life and savoring the chances they have been given to make lives for themselves half a world away from where they were born.

“I look at it as a blessing,” Daniel said. “There’s not many people who get opportunities like us. We were blessed enough to get an opportunity to come here. We’re doing whatever it takes to take advantage of it. We’re using running. We love running, but we have bigger dreams than running.”

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