Although they have all now moved on to college, Carroll County’s first family of running continues to turn heads in the world of cross country.
Siblings Samuel and Sydney Haynes, both 2017 graduates of Carroll County High School, are now burning up the course at Concord University near Princeton, West Virginia, while just across the state line in Virginia, big brother Kendall Haynes has taken over the reigns as head cross country coach at Bluefield College. Kendall credits the family patriarch, Darryl Haynes, for getting the whole family into running. An older brother, Jacob, also ran cross country at Bridgewater College.
Freshmen Sydney Haynes and Samuel Haynes both had solid outings September 1 to propel Concord University to a strong performance in the Hokie Cross Country Invite at Virginia Tech.
The Haynes twins both joined the Mountain Lions’ program after highly successful cross country and track careers at CCHS. In the Hokie Invite, Sydney Haynes was Concord’s top runner, finishing ninth with a time of 15:03 on the 4,000-meter course. She finished just 10 seconds behind the race winner and just behind the lead pack of Virginia Tech runners. She helped the Mountain Lions finish fifth among women’s team in an invite that featured such Division I programs as Virginia Tech, Radford and VMI.
Samuel finished 38th overall to help guide the Mountain Lions to a meet championship on the men’s side. Concord defeated VMI, Radford, Longwood and Division III Washington & Lee with the victory.
The siblings took it a step further Saturday in their second college meet. Sydney Haynes won the individual title in the Golden Bear Classic in Glen Jean, W. Va. with a time of 15:58 in the 4,000 meters. The Mountain Lions swept the top three spots to win the women’s team title. Meanwhile, Samuel Haynes placed eighth overall in the men’s race with a run of 13:39 as Concord men also won the team title.
Kendall Haynes, who just completed his cross country running career last fall, most certainly is now one of the youngest college coaches in America at the tender age of 23. A 2012 graduate of Carroll County High School, Kendall ran cross country four years at Bluefield College, an NAIA school.
Kendall Haynes became the head coach for the Rams after his collegiate coach moved to Averett College. He said Bluefield College was looking for someone local, so his successful career with the Rams, plus his ties to Southwest Virginia, led to him landing the job.
“Yeah, I know I am a rare situation (being so young) but I am trying to take advantage of the opportunity I have in front of me. I know it is a rare case,” Kendall Haynes said.
As a sophomore, Haynes became the first Bluefield College runner in school history to qualify for nationals. It’s a day he will never forget as the NCCAA nationals were held in upstate New York during snow and sub-freezing weather.
“It was the first race I have ever been to with space heaters and tents for athletes to stay warm,” he said.
Bluefield’s first collegiate meet of the season was scheduled for September 9. Learning the coaching process has been quite the experience for Haynes, but he said he tries to rely on the wisdom passed down to him from CCHS coaches Pat Sharp and Col. Mark Carper, as well as Nick Whited, a college friend. Currently, Bluefield College has 11 women and five men on the roster. Leading the way is a familiar name locally as CCHS graduate Kenzie Marshall is the top female runner on the Rams’ roster. Haynes hopes the junior can help lead the girls’ team to a goal of national championship.
“Kenzie brings a lot. She has a hard work ethic and hopefully she will help some of these freshmen on the team with her leadership,” Haynes said. “Right now the college only has cross country, but I am hoping to make a push for track in the next couple of years if we can do well.”
Originally hoping to coach high school track and cross country, Haynes said he hopes to become a P.E. teacher at a school near Bluefield in the future.
“This opportunity came up and I took it,” Haynes said. “My goal is to have success at the college and maybe get a P.E. job in the surrounding area so I can do both.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN