Nueva coach Braelyn Riner appreciates “all things running.” She is making her mark at Nueva by coaching soccer and running the Middle School cross country and track and field programs.
According to PE and Athletics Coordinator Alyssa Richards, Braelyn always goes the extra mile.
“The way that she cares for our students is fantastic,” she said, “and the way that she reaches them is impeccable. Braelyn connects with our students at all levels and shares the value of sport. She is a caring, compassionate, committed coach who embodies what our program is all about.”
Braelyn grew up in central Virginia, in a rural area 20 minutes from Lynchburg. She started running for her middle school track team in the sixth grade after she was encouraged by her PE teacher.
“I’ve been running ever since,” she said. “In high school, I ran competitively year-round. I was captain of my cross country team during my senior year.” Braelyn enjoys inspiring students through athletics.
“So much of what I get to do in supporting Nueva students can be a natural extension of the Lower and Middle School PE program,” noted Braelyn, who teaches Middle and Upper School math. “For example, the focus on personal growth and wellness and cultivating a positive approach, or mindset, around new challenges. I've had the opportunity to learn a lot from the incredible PE team about working with student-athletes in contexts outside the classroom. Getting to run and work out with the team at practice is a plus, too. I get to know students that I don't have in classes, or get to know the students that I teach even better.”
A fun fact about Braelyn? “I keep a small collection of cool things that I find while running,” she noted. “It all started with a tiny Lego Batman figure, no bigger than a quarter, that I found on a long run.”
For now, Braelyn’s primary goal is to help students find personal connections to their sports.
“I hope athletes will form a relationship with the sport that is meaningful and enjoyable to them,” she added. “This includes working with athletes to build a positive team culture, encouraging them to take pride in their progress, and providing opportunities for them to challenge themselves in new ways.”