Sporting WCA

AJ Lloyd: The Switch

This past summer, junior AJ Lloyd, the kid with the loud laugh, had to make a decision between which fall sport he would be playing, his passion for nine plus years or the potential he had for cross country.

It took much persuasion from the cross country team to yank Lloyd from the soccer team, who he had an outstanding 2015 soccer season with Coach Lawrence and the JV soccer team.

When asking AJ what it took for him to be pulled from the soccer program, he said, “When Evan Parres invited me to do a workout with him, I decided to give it a try. Evan, being the top runner on the cross country team, was surprised I could keep up with him and told me that I needed to join cross country because I had some real potential with the sport.”

The soccer team will miss the absence of their speedy forward, but the cross country team welcomes Lloyd with open arms. Cross country needed to replace runner Andrew Murray this year, so the team looked towards Lloyd.

When comparing the two sports, AJ said, “The amount of time and work put into training for these meets that we have isn’t nearly as easy as preparing for soccer games. The amount of endurance that is needed for the cross country is more than soccer. And the practices that we have are much more intense than one I ever had playing soccer.”

Many people told AJ that he would only be a top five runner on the team. But as most people say, don’t sleep on Lloyd. He wouldn’t settle with “top five”. He came out those first few weeks of training and worked as hard as he could. Lloyd has come out this year and has just tore it up. Placing in the top fifteen out of three hundred runners at his most recent meet at Forest Park was an eye opener for the whole team.

When asking George Meyer about Aj’s first performance at Forest Park he said, “ Everyone on the team knew what he [AJ] could do. The way he ran at such a hard course in such harsh conditions, and then on top of it, [with] that being his first meet really opened all of our eyes towards what he can do.”

This season the cross country team is looking forward to a breakout out performance from AJ and others including Evan Parres, David Montgomery, and Xander Smith. Their yearly trip to Memphis is coming up, and AJ couldn’t be more excited to get further into the season and make his mark.