NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Growing up, Granby's Ryan Harris aspired to be like his father. As a result, he found the sport of track and field.
"He kind of always ran marathons and did triathlons when I was growing up," Harris recalled. "I always wanted to be like him and kind of do what he was doing. As he was coaching that, I kind of thought 'I think maybe I could be good at this.'"
"I was the cross country coach at his middle school and he would come out to practice with me as a second grader," his father, Jonathan remembered. "He would just run with all the kids and he would beat half the team and I was like 'why is this second grader beating you guys?'"
The talent being so evident from a young age stood out to coaches at all levels. When he got to high school he didn't just excel on the track, but in pole vault as well.
"Every coach's dream athlete," Granby head coach Carmen Wynder said. "Always been coachable and I told him when he was a freshman that he was going to be the best distance runner to ever come out of Granby just from the fact that he's coachable, so that led to him working hard every year."
"I think I'm really just dedicated and do whatever it takes to achieve a goal," Ryan added. "I think that's something, some people just slack off, but I think I just put my 110 percent into everything."
That includes when some might consider him to be at a disadvantage. He juggles multiple events, competing on the track, but also in pole vault. During last year's state championship meet, Ryan was competing in the mile while warm-ups were taking place for the pole vault, but as soon as he was done with one, he jumped right into the other.
"He went and ran the mile, and ran like 4:31, had to get back in line, warm-up was done, and he had to start pole vault" his father said. "He cleared a couple, but after that you could just tell he was done, but to me, that just shows what kind of athlete he is."
If you ask Ryan how we would describe himself as an athlete, it all comes down to how he excels outside of competition.
"I'm really proud of being able to be a leader on the team and bringing everyone together," he said.
Ryan hopes to continue competing at the college level and is currently taking visits to various institutions.
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