JOY Stories


Cambridge Christian Cross Country

Coaching as a Ministry

The Cambridge Christian School Girls Cross Country Team has been ranked number one in Florida by MileSplit Florida (, the recognized statewide ranking organization. Subsequently, although previously unrecognized in national rankings, the team finished second in a major national race. This moved them into the Nike National Ranking at 25th in the country.

Regarding the top runners on the team, Brandon Miles, Milesplit Florida Editor, wrote that the team deserves recognition, “…with the likes of Mary Ellen Eudaly, Caroline Lehman, Eliana Black, and Madeleine Gear as arguably the best top four that our state has ever seen on one cross country team and currently has to rank among the best in the country this season.”

The team did not disappoint when coach Raymond Friedman made the decision to take the team to the Great America Cross Country Festival in Cary, North Carolina, on Saturday, October 2nd. Even with two runners under the weather, they finished second in the 5,000-meter Race of Champions against Weddington, one of the top teams in the country.

That performance catapulted Cambridge Christian School into the national rankings for the first time at the rank of 25. The girls will certainly get more attention now, and even greater glory is a possibility, with the RunningLane National Championships set for December 4 in Alabama.

Friedman credits several factors for the team’s success. He describes them as a dream team, referring to their giftedness, character, and diligence. He gives God a lot of credit, too. “I regard coaching as a ministry. I honor God, and He gives me wisdom when I ask for it. I’m very methodical. I believe in cross-training. I watch the metrics. I individualize training routines. Hard work and teamwork produce great results. I am very proud of this team.”

“Cambridge Christian’s cross country teams have made some tremendous strides over the past few seasons and are now being recognized for their talent and determination. I congratulate them, not only for their athletic achievements, but for the character they’ve shown and their excellent academic performance as well,” said Mark Butler, Director of Athletics for the school.

Photos for Cambridge Christian Cross Country


PHOTO 1 of 13