C4K Joins Forces with Greiner Family to Share Son’s Love of Track & Field
One of the many benefits of sports lies in the chosen family that many athletes find in their teammates. This important group of peers encourage each other to be better as well as celebrate successes to boost a child’s confidence. While a coach is often the first person one thinks of when positive role models are discussed – upperclassmen on the team often also serve as an important example to and supporter of their younger teammates.
Simon Greiner was one of those influential personalities who left behind an undeniable legacy that continues to affect his teammates and peers to this day. As a member of the EMHS Class of 2012 and dedicated track athlete, Simon regularly excelled at his chosen events but knew he could push himself further while encouraging his teammates to succeed as well. Sure enough, in 2012 Simon was the champion of the 800m and 1600m events and anchored the winning 3200m relay team. The dedication Simon exemplified to his peers, however, created a ripple effect that went much further than a gold medal.
“He was the leader who succeeded and made everyone else believe they could too,” explained Ricki Scheef, a fellow runner from EMHS. This idea is echoed by another peer from high school, Grey Howard. “Every day at practice with Simon was fun,” said Howard. “He would often inspire us with little words of wisdom in the middle of a painful workout and he made his teammates feel like they could accomplish anything as long as they stayed relaxed and enjoyed the process.” Under Simon's leadership, EMHS won every relay and running event of the 2012 State Championship Track Meet except the two mile run. The girls’ track team followed this by winning the State Championship Meet the following year.
Personal success, however, wasn’t Simon’s only focus. “There’s the athlete that’s the hard-worker, who is so intensely focused on their success that it’s really ‘at all costs,’” described Simon’s father, Don Greiner. “That’s not the way he was.” Simon’s personality helped him instead cultivate close relationships with many teammates and peers at Edmond Memorial and beyond. Ms. Scheef agreed, explaining that “he stood for unity and all different types of people found comfort and strength in his friendship.”
This concept that one’s life is better when everyone else around them is also striving for excellence is truly the essence of good sportsmanship and a driving tenant of the Simon Greiner Track and Field Program. Cleats for Kids (C4K) is honored to collaborate with Fields & Futures and Red Coyote Running to reignite a passion for track and field in Oklahoma City. This program is inspired by Simon Greiner and the positive force he represented.
Last fall, three cross country teams from US Grant High School, John Marshall High School and Northwest Classen High School participated in the Simon Greiner Program. C4K’s partnership with Red Coyote Running was invaluable in providing 250 pairs of new distance spikes and training shoes. This Spring, we visited each school again to provide an additional 150 pairs of mid-distance and sprint spikes as well as training shoes for young athletes joining for track and field. Fields & Futures provided support and training for the teams’ coaches throughout the school year.
This entire program is made possible by the generosity of the Greiner Family, who wanted to find a way to share the legacy and experience of their son with athletes who are dedicated to the sport of running. Simon’s example on how to be an effective and encouraging teammate is already making an undeniable impact on OKCPS athletes and is sure to be felt for years to come.