Going the Distance: The Taylor Anthony Story
Two-time state champion Christ Covenant junior cross country runner featured as our newest WITN Sports Spotlight
WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) — This week we shine the WITN / Pepsi Sports Spotlight on two-time Christ Covenant junior cross country state champion Taylor Anthony!
When you look into his eyes, what do you see?
Do you see the person? Or, do you see the runner?
If you ask Taylor Anthony, he’d like you to see both.
“You may feel like you want to throw up before you get to the finish line, but if you have to throw up, just throw up and keep running," Anthony said during his interview with WITN Sports.
Running. It’s what has helped the Christ Covenant junior overcome all of the obstacles thrown his way.
“I guess we can start at the beginning, right?” Kim Anthony said.
Taylor was diagnosed with Asperger’s as a young child. Kim and Stephen Anthony knew they’d have several challenges to overcome, as parents.
Together, they were constantly looking to give their oldest of three a sense of belonging.
“We tried soccer and other sports, and they were kind of a disaster," Kim Anthony said.
That all changed though in fifth grade when Taylor put on his running shoes for the first time and placed third in his first ever 5K.
“After that he was kind of hooked," Stephen Anthony added.
From that point on, running became Taylor’s community.
“But what really mattered was the effort that I was willing to put into this," Taylor explained.
That effort turned running into Taylor’s safe haven.
But then, in ninth grade, Taylor was crunched with another obstacle. Type 1 diabetes.
“I think one of the first things he asked me when he was in the hospital after his diagnosis, he asked me, ‘Dad, can I still run?'" Stephen said.
“I think the combination of both me and my parents was we weren’t sure if we could do this," added Taylor. "This might be too much to ask, but we gave it a try.”
And boy, did he ever.
One year later, as a sophomore, Taylor won his first ever cross country state title.
“We’re super proud of him," Stephen said.
Then he did it again this year as a junior.
“The truth is, he just works tirelessly at it," Stephen added.
Taylor Anthony: Two-time, back-to-back state champion cross country runner.
“He wants other people to see his challenges and know that his faith and his perseverance have gotten him through," Kim added.
So, when you look into his eyes, what do you see?
“His character and the way that he supports his team," Christ Covenant cross country head coach Danielle Furlough said.
Taylor sees a great runner.
“I’m not trying to brag or anything," Taylor said.
But knows his purpose is to distance himself as an even better person.
“I’ve been trying to learn how to be a role model for such a long time now," added Taylor. "Eventually we keep searching, you find it.”
NOTE: If you have a senior student-athlete or athlete that you would like to nominate as a WITN Sports Spotlight, please email a bio to Tyler Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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