By MARINA WATERS
Before too long, the Roy family will probably be able to host a family reunion at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Senior runner Taylor Roy signed to continue her cross country and track career at UT Martin, where she will be joined by her older sister, Breanna, who signed with the Skyhawks last year.
“I feel really great,” Taylor Roy said at her Monday, Nov. 12 signing at David Crockett High School. “I feel really good to get to run with Breanna again and all the girls seem really nice there. I’m excited. I was trying to decide between King (University) and UT Martin and I just fell in love with everything at UT Martin. It’s just really good.”
As much as Taylor is looking forward to running with her sister, she said at first, she wasn’t totally sold on the idea.
“At first, no,” Taylor said with a laugh in thinking about her initial reaction to following her sister to UT Martin. “But once I got talking to her about me going there and running with her, she was really excited so I decided I really, really wanted to go there even before she signed with UT Martin.’
Before she signed to become a Skyhawk, Pioneer Athletic Director Josh Kite said Taylor, along with her sister Breanna, “changed the image” of cross country at David Crockett.
Taylor is a four-year state cross country runner and had the second fastest time in Pioneer history in girls cross country. But as far as changing the image of Pioneer Cross Country, Taylor said it took a focus on encouragement and leadership.
“It makes me feel really good (hearing what Kite said at the signing.) I try to be a leader and I try to encourage everyone, tell them when they’re having bad days that they can do it,” Taylor said. “I just try to make us a really close family so we can improve together and not be against each other. I know there are some girls who are really close in times. So helping them makes me feel really good.”
Taylor isn’t just leading the cross country team at Crockett; she’s also a state track runner who, in addition to going to state as an individual runner, was part of the first girls track team to make it to the state meet from Crockett since 1982. The team not only finished in the eighth spot in the state meet, but also tallied the fastest time in school history.
The future Skyhawk is also on the wrestling team — and is ranked at the top of the state.
“I’m ranked first for wrestling in the state, so I’m hoping to get the state title,” Taylor said. “I didn’t want to wrestle at first, but I made a bet (with Coach Lauren Murr) and I lost. But I tried it and I actually really, really liked it. Everyone’s a team there, so I have two separate teams. Everyone is always there to help you go and move forward.”
But of all the accolades and awards she’s received, her favorite might just be one of the only awards her older sister didn’t get first.
“I’m most proud of the Bristol Cross Award because it’s a trophy Breanna never got and I got (before her),” Taylor said, laughing. “I was really excited. So that was probably my most proud moment.”
For Crockett cross country and track coach Mark Jennings, Taylor leaves behind a successful running career at Crockett after winning numerous cross country races.
“She’s won many races here,” Jennings said. “A lot of people run cross country. Not many people win a race. It’s hard to actually win a race and she’s won several since she’s been here. She’s had an outstanding career.”