Greenville cross country’s bond builds championship team

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:57 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Greenville’s boys and girls cross country squads are making a compelling case for greatest group in school history.

“They’ve broken every record in the school.” Bob Collins, Greenville cross country co-head coach, said.

For the first time, both teams took home County and Region Titles.

“It’s from the bottom up,” Roger Brown, Greenville cross country captain, said. “We score five, but it’s the whole team that makes it work.”

Girls Captain Caroline Lyerly, will miss this team.

“Proud of everybody for all the work that they’ve put in,” Carolina Lyerly, Greenville cross country captain, said. “I’m honored to be a part of this team and I’m definitely going to miss it next year for sure.”

Boys Captain Roger Brown says success has almost nothing to do with running faster.

“The biggest thing that I think I’ll look back on is with this team isn’t the championships, it isn’t the record board,” Brown said. “It’s build a team that at lasts me.”

From fastest to slowest, each team member runs for the person next to them, not for themselves.

“There have been races that faster runners have encouraged and ran with slower runners just to encourage them and boost their confidence.” Jenna Bates, Greenville Cross Country Co-head coach, said.

It’s a bond that head coach Bob Collins says was taken during the pandemic.

“I think the whole world knows people’s struggles with isolation of COVID,” Collins said. “To be part of a team and then not to be part of a team was difficult for them. They struggled.

When these runners laced up this season.

“We’ve really made an effort to come closer together this year.” Lyerly said.

Removed from the grips of COVID.

“The dinners are important. This summer we took a road trip just to get everyone to buy into the process,” Brown said. “Love each other.”

Building a winning force.

“It’s just so much more fun to be out here with a team and I think that makes us even more grateful knowing that we did do it without a team and just knowing how much of a difference it can make.” Lyerly said.

For these Red Raiders it’s a family.

“We want this to be a safe space where kids can learn to run, learn to be themselves, for years to come.” Brown said.