That is the simple way to describe one of Scioto County’s newest area signees and South Webster cross country/track star Sydney McCoy.
However, it’s not really a simple task to describe McCoy in just one sentence, because the senior has left a legacy — both inside and outside of the classroom — that is worth a lifetime of superlatives.
Heidelberg University saw those same grade-A qualities that South Webster cross country coach Tim Conley and South Webster track and field coach Todd Horner have seen throughout the course of McCoy’s high school career, as well, and as a result, the Student Princes’ cross country and track and field unit will field McCoy on its unit for the 2018 season on forward.
For McCoy, it’s a chance to see where she can go with her favorite sports.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity,” McCoy said. “I’m just thrilled to see where I can go with my running career. I know that with continued work, I can accomplish more. The coaches at Heidelberg have been really supportive and have a great plan in place.”
As for Conley and Horner, the veteran coaches know that the opportunity couldn’t have gone to a better student-athlete, and that was evident in the facial and verbal excitement that was shown at South Webster High School in Friday’s signing.
“Sydney’s exemplified the qualities of being a true student-athlete, with the student part coming first,” Conley said. “Academically, she’s excelled in everything that she’s done, and in the classroom, she’s excelled in everything that she’s done. She exemplifies what we, as coaches, look for when we’re talking about a stellar student-athlete.”
“It’s unbelievable,” Horner said. “Sydney is a top-notch student-athlete and she’s a great kid. As a coach, it makes my job very easy to have her on our team. Her leadership and the way the girls look up to her, it’s amazing. Anything a coach would want, she is that. She is unbelievable. She is a great kid, a great student, and is just awesome to be around. She makes everybody else better just by being on our roster.”
That’s evident in the results that McCoy has put together over the past four years in both cross country and track.
In the former sport, McCoy finished her career by qualifying for four straight regional meets while finishing in the top-10 in 13 of the 24 meets that she participated in — including top-five finishes in nine of those 13 events — while taking home a pair of victories over her cross country career, including the Southern Ohio Conference’s top billing in the 5,000 meter run with her personal-best time of 19:39.
But as good as McCoy’s cross country accomplishments may be, they actually pale in comparison to what McCoy has done on the track and field side of the spectrum.
There, McCoy has won three races, finished in the top-five 22 times and in the top-10 an astounding 47 times — in just three full seasons of running — across the 200 meter, 400 meter, 1600 meter, 3200 meter, 4-by-400 meter relay, and 4-by-800 meter relay events. And that’s not even taking into account the indoor track season, where the senior accumulated three additional top-10 showings or the fact that the Jeep was hindered by a stress fracture that forced her to miss part of her sophomore season.
To top it all off, the senior is currently in the school’s top three all-time in the one-mile, the two-mile, the 200 meters, and the 400 meters, and, along with fellow teammates Kaylee Blevins, Gracie Raison, and Olivia Messer, hold the school’s 4-by-800 meter relay record, set back on May 27 of last year in the Division III, Region 11 Meet.
So where does that fire and drive to succeed come from?
Her family, teammates, and coaches.
“I love it,” McCoy said. “Our team is like a family. We go and do everything together, we’re always doing team-bonding activities and going out to eat together. As for my coaches, they have always encouraged me. I can hear (Todd) Horner from all the way across the field at meets. He and (Tim) Conley are great coaches. My parents have supported me, regardless of what I’ve pursued. I wasn’t sure about running in college, but they just kept telling me, ‘Do whatever you want to do. You’ll be great at it, no matter what.’”
“I just try to motivate her,” Horner said, smiling. “But it doesn’t take much motivation. She’s awesome and she’s self-motivated. It shows in how she puts academics first, and then with what she’s done in the athletic realm. What she’s accomplished is unreal. I’m just so proud of what she’s done, in the classroom at South Webster and on the track.”
But it only gets better from there for the South Webster attendee.
In addition to McCoy’s accolades on the track, the Jeep is as solid as a rock in the classroom. McCoy will graduate as the school’s valedictorian in the spring — at a school that is regularly ranked as one of the top 550 schools nationally — and will take her knowledge to the NCAA Division III school, where she’ll study health sciences to prepare for a career in physical therapy, specifically in pediatrics.
And it’s those goals that are the truly impressive ones, according to her coaches.
“Heidelberg is one of the best academic colleges that we have (in the state),” Conley said. “For Sydney to not only be at Heidelberg academically but athletically, as well, it’s pretty much the pinnacle. For her to have done what she’s done is very impressive, to say the least.”
“Heidelberg is one of the best schools in the state academically,” Horner said. “Then, to be able to go out and do what she loves to do with running cross country and track, it’s icing on the cake. It’s just awesome to see how well she’s done.”
Even though McCoy is on the runway toward success, the newly-minted Heidelberg cross country and track participant is not about to forgot what she will be leaving behind when the senior participates in her final track and field meet in May.
“It’s going to be hard not running with my current teammates or for my current coaches anymore,” McCoy said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for my coaches and teammates. I love my team and I love all of the memories that we’ve had. I won’t forget them.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7