A group of student-athletes from Southwest Florida are top in that state. But the Barron Collier boys and girls cross country teams are not necessarily at the top during meets, but they are excelling in the classroom.
For hours on end, training for success is the foundation of Barron Collier’s cross country program.
Tiffany Breuler is the girls’ team’s co-captain. “We may not win everything, but Barron Collier always shows up,” Breuler said.
The team’s dedication extends beyond just their running and into the classroom. The team grade point average for the boys is 3.793, and for the girls, it’s 3.895.
Kyle Rankin is the cross county head coach at Barron Collier. “If in fact there was a trophy, and to the best of my understanding there’s not, but it would go right in the front,” Rankin said.
Coach Rankin was so impressed by his athletes that he decided to find out where their GPAs ranked in the state. ” Took the boys, the girls’ number added them together. Did some quick math. To realize we were tied for first in the state,” Rankin said.
And this was no simple feat. From 5 a.m. practices to Advanced Placement classes to hours of homework at night, these athletes are up against so much.
Chase Howes is a co-captain for the boys’ team. “When I’m running with my buddies, I completely forget about everything. So once I get home, I’m ready to work out some school work,” said Howes.
Tiffany Breuler is the school’s student body president. “In practices, in homework, if you’re spending time studying, all your day-to-day activities that aren’t really the competition or the final exam that really is what pays out to the result,” said Breuler.
Emily Rypina is also a co-captain and is currently the school’s valedictorian. “It shows that we can do more than you can think you can do. And we’re capable of a lot,” said Rypina.
Every team member at Barron Collier is running towards success.
The cross country team isn’t the only Barron Collier team to achieve academic success. The girls’ volleyball and girls’ swimming teams have both claimed academic state championships.