Turning A Simple Sport into A Lifelong Passion

Ryan Johnson: Cross-Country League Coach of the Year

By Adam Briejer ’20

Cross-country is a unique sport. Despite its simplicity, there’s something intriguing about 200 kids sprinting off the start, forming a medieval siege line full of colorful singlets and short shorts that aren’t quite long enough to cover up the tan lines of the past summer. And as expected, unique sports attract unique people, and Coach Ryan Johnson is definitely just that.

A word that comes to mind when describing Coach Johnson is committed. Whether that be during practice, meets, or anything related, Coach seems to genuinely care about each member of the team and enjoy working with them.

After the team’s season ended, Coach Johnson continued to help me train, even running a couple of workouts with me, and driving all the way to Portland to watch me race. This joy and commitment helps influence and encourage many of the runners to be leaders and role models, creating a supportive team full of kind and unique individuals.

The connectedness of our team is something we are very proud of, and although these bonds wouldn’t be there without some of my dedicated teammates, the diverse personalities of the coaches hold it all together. Coach Johnson is indeed very deserving of this award. He and the other coaches turn the simple act of running into something I and the rest of my teammates greatly enjoy, and for this, we are thankful.

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Adam Briejer ’20 is the Nisqually League Champion and finished the season with four undefeated meets and first place at the final league meet. He took first place at districts and state, and also qualified for the prestigious Nike Borderclash where he placed 49th against the top runners in all four classifications in Washington and Oregon.