Runners benefit from Athletes In Action

If you think everyone is going to relax over fall break, you should think again.

John Brown University’s Cross Country team left campus at 6 a.m. today. They are traveling to Wilmington, Ohio, where they will do a variety of activities that will benefit their efforts as a team. The first of these activities is what has taken them to Ohio in the first place: a conference for Christian athletes.

Claire Greathouse, senior Cross Country runner, said that Coach Scott Schochler has been involved with an organization called Athletes In Action, which specializes in equipping athletes with tools to share their faith through sports.

The team is going to one of the organization’s campuses and will hear from professional athletes about how to minister through their given medium, whether it be through witness or through performance.

“It’s where we connect being an athlete and being a Christian together,” freshman runner Carly Coney said. “Often times, we just do sports because it’s something we’re good at or something we do. But it’s also to glorify God. So it’s an organization that helps athletes see that and see Christ in what they’re doing.”

“Basically, we’re going to gain a basic understanding about how to share the Gospel through running,” Greathouse said.

The next activity the team will do in Ohio is something that they are all quite used to.

“We’ll be running probably three times a day,” Levi Nordmeyer, junior runner, said.

“We’re going to be training, using their facilities,” Greathouse said.“It’s not like we’re going to be lounging around. We’re going to be working hard and continuing to work toward our conference at OBU.”

The third activity the team will do is also not out of the ordinary for them, if not for it being in Ohio.

“We’re gonna go up there and run a race on Friday night,” junior Levi Nordmeyer said.

The team will compete in the 23rd annual #JennaStrong Fall Classic at Wilmington University. Some members of the team said that the race will be larger than the race that took place at Chile Pepper Festival, a race of 466 men and 436 women, where they ran at the University of Arkansas on Oct. 3.

Greathouse expressed her excitement to see how the team does in the race due to the fact that they have improved. She said #JennaStrong will be a good indicator of the team’s progress.

“It’s gonna be a big race,” Nordmeyer said. “There’s gonna be a lot of NAIA teams there that we never race against because they are not in our conference. I’m excited to see how we do against them.”

Greathouse also mentioned that the Cross Country team’s trip will be a great opportunity to improve both their running and their faith.

“Jesus gives you strength. It’s factual, and He’s glorified in it,” Greathouse said. “That’s kind of what this whole Ohio trip is encompassing. It’s about bringing those two aspects—strength in running and strength in faith—and combining them.”