The Cross Country program at Troy Christian High School began back in 1996. The sport got off to a slow start, but a start nonetheless. The team was coached by Mr. Geiger for the inaugural year, before Shannon and Monica Bragg took over. The next couple years, the team grew fast. The program was gaining more runners and also getting much faster. By 2001, Troy Christian had already made their first appearance at the state championships with Josh Brant qualifying out of regionals and placing 43rd as just a sophomore. The Bragg's ended their coaching run (no pun intended) after the 2001 season and 2002 became the year where the legendary Jeff McDaniel era began.
McDaniel had much success in his early years, taking the reigns of a team that was gaining serious momentum. Troy Christian qualified to the state championships as a team in his first two seasons placing 13th and 8th respectively. Following the graduation of some of TC's best in Josh Brant, Lotery Heath, and Alex Revelos, the outlook on state may have seemed bleak. However, the Stephan brothers would follow up with individual qualifications in the two following years. David in 2004 and Andy in 2005. Meanwhile, a young talent on the girls side known as Jessica Brant was beginning to come up. The following year in 2006, she would begin her streak of three consecutive individual qualifications to state. Not to mention, two of those trips earning her all Ohio honors for placing in the top 25. It was quite an impressive decade for TC cross country for just starting out.
The years following the culmination of Jessica Brant and Andy Stephan's careers would be a change in the tides. Ian Klingler and Justin Seekins would lead the charge as the men would go on to win the conference championship and qualify for regionals for the first time since 2003 in their senior year. On the women's side, Sarah Grady alone (literally) would build back up the girls team after seeing some lower numbers. She qualified for regionals in her first year in high school setting a tone that would grow the women's team considerably in the following years. As the girl's team grew under Sarah's influence, the men's side found new leadership in Kyle Klingler and Max Conover, who both joined the sub 18 club as sophomores and were ready to sustain the culture and success that Ian, Justin and others before had created.
After a couple years of strong showings at conference and some appearances at regionals, Troy Christian would return to the state championships as Kyle Klingler would qualify as an individual to conclude his career. After that, much of the team's depth graduated, and the team would fall into some lower high school numbers. However, in 2013, a lone individual known as Zac Garver would make a brief appearance of one year that involved a qualification to the state meet and earning All Ohio honors. Not to mention, the fastest 5k time of any Troy Christian Eagle ever. After his transfer, a whole new team would jump onto the scene from junior high. 2014 and 2015 saw the most success in junior high history, winning multiple meets and crashing the record boards for both the girls and boys.
With the young high school talent growing and the thriving junior high runners moving up to high school, 2017 looked to be the perfect melting point of success. And that's exactly what it was. Led by Nick Pratt and Robert Ventura, TC would return to the regional meet as a team for the first time since 2009. Now, with most runner's returning for next year, 2018 looks to be another promising year. Jeff McDaniel will be coaching his 18th season and looks to make TC a force to reckon with once again. No matter what happens, Troy Christian Cross Country will continue to strive to work hard, fulfill goals, encourage one another, run strong, and most of all honor God in everything we do. This program is set up to not only make us better runners but better people in all area's of life.