Featured Athlete: Michael Coppinger


Emily Thomas, Staff Reporter

Wingspan: You ran significantly faster in your district meet, what motivated you?

Coppinger: “I went into the race with the worry that it would be the last one I ever ran. A lot of my friends than ran with me at Vandeventer were at the race and when I saw them I started thinking of district as a culmination of my 6 years in cross country.”

Wingspan: What is your favorite part of cross country?

Coppinger: “My favorite part is definitely my teammates. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a lot of them pretty well since I’ve been running with them for so long. It’s hard to recreate the enthusiasm for hard work that exists in cross country, which is what has kept me coming back each year. Now that we have a chance at state the team’s attitude is better than ever.”

Wingspan: How are you guys training for regionals?

Coppinger: “Obviously we are all running really hard in practice because we are extra motivated having a chance to go pretty far after district, but apart from that we are trying to go the extra mile and eat well, drink water, and sleep plenty. We are trying to do everything that would help us get to state in and out of practice.”

Wingspan: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in cross country?

Coppinger: “Waking up early and running for so many days over the past 4 years in high school has definitely been tough. Even though it’s hard I think it builds good habits for accountability and work ethic in the future.”

Wingspan: Who has been your biggest motivator throughout your cross country career?

Coppinger: “Coach Manning hands down. I think there’s a few adults in your life who will really influence you and Coach Manning has been one of those for me. He has shown the team so much dedication and care regardless of the major events happening in his own life. He’s inspired me to have integrity not only in cross country but in every part of life.”

Wingspan: How has cross country impacted your life?

Coppinger: “I think cross country has impacted my life by teaching me the validity of merit and culture. I’ve never had a team so willing to put in the work when no one is watching. As for culture, cross country has always welcomed and encouraged all of its members, even when we compete with each other for spots.  At Liberty, cross country has a culture of unconditional brotherly support, which is definitely something I can apply in my own life.