Aldie, Va. — John Champe High School senior Bethany Graham has made a commitment to continue her running career at Furman University starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
“Obviously being recruited is a great position to be in, but the process can be very stressful,” the 5-foot-5 Graham said. “One of the reasons I decided to commit earlier was to help make the process a little bit easier and relieve a little stress to have a great senior year. I can focus more on my training and work towards some goals I have for this year!”
Following her commitment, Graham has turned in some of the top performances in Virginia this year, including wins at the Great Meadow Invitational, Pole Green XC Classic, Oatlands Invitational, and Octoberfest.
I have huge goals for my future in running, and they drive me to keep working hard every day.
Graham also holds the fastest time in Loudoun County this fall, running a 17:09.50 at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, North Carolina on October 5. Her 17:09.50 is almost 45 seconds faster than the next runner in Loudoun this season.
“Running for John Champe taught me a lot about myself as a student and athlete,” said Graham, who has been named first team or honorable mention All-LoCo six times, including being named the Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year in 2019. “While I was there, I made so many meaningful connections with my teammates and created life-long friendships. I’ll forever remember all the memories I made as an athlete there and will miss the team so much next year!”
After graduating in the spring, Graham will head to Greenville, South Carolina where head coach Robert Gary currently has the Division I Paladins ranked No. 18 in the country in women’s cross country.
“Furman’s coaches are amazing. They are very experienced and have a great vision for where they want to take their team, and their training program also fits very well with me,” said Graham, who could make an impact right away at Furman. “The team is also super welcoming and friendly, everyone gets along really well, and I felt like by joining the team I would be joining a big family.”
On top of opportunity to compete with a nationally-ranked cross country and distance track team, Graham chose Furman because of the academic offerings.
“I chose Furman because it was the best fit for me. It had everything I was looking for,” Graham said. “Furman has a great health sciences program, which is what I want to study.”
While at Furman, Graham will continue to chase her dreams of being the best runner she can possibly be.
“What keeps me motivated is my drive to be better,” Graham said. “I have huge goals for my future in running, and they drive me to keep working hard every day.”