Vince Lombardi never coached cross country on a Wednesday

The Southerner

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BY LUKE WEBSTER

Vince Lombardi famously said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

Well, Lombardi evidently never coached cross country, and he certainly never sent a high school squad out to run a Wednesday meet at Grant Park.

The Grady cross-country team will have its regularly scheduled Grant Park meet on Wednesday. Though all of the races the Grady team runs are important, especially this late in the season, at this meet–as with all of Grady’s Grant Park meets–the meet is not all about which individual or which team finishes in first place.

“The goal typically isn’t to win or to defeat another team,” senior team member Troy Kleber said. “[Coach] Cramer uses meets as a way of bettering yourself, not only in running, but [also in] competing.”

For many athletes, this concept is hard to grasp. Not having a defined winner or loser is something that is typically unheard of in interscholastic competition. For this meet, Grady team members are looking to improve as a unit rather than as individuals. Though there will be many other teams like North Atlanta, Washington and other APS schools running in the Wednesday meet, Grady will only be focused on themselves.

The Grady team understands that the best way to get better is through motivation. “[Coach Cramer] encourages us to run with other students so that the faster runners serve as motivators for the rest of the team. He wants no runner by him or herself until maybe the end of the race.”

Kleber alludes to the strong, loyal parent support Grady has had throughout the season, another strong source of motivation for the team.

Expect to see growth from the Grady team on Wednesday at Grant Park through hard running, team work and motivation.

Just don’t expect them to win.

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