HOBBS, N.M. – U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Benjamin Biedryzcki, a national partnership action officer with Marine Corps Recruiting Command, presented the Battles Won Comeback Award to Taylor McCreedy, a track and field student-athlete with Iowa Central Community College, at the National Junior College Athletic Association track and field national championships on May 20, 2023, as a part of the partnership MCRC has with the NJCAA.
The Battles Won Comeback Award is presented by MCRC to the student-athlete that exemplifies the same resiliency and fighting spirit that is embodied by United States Marines the world over. Accordingly, McCreedy began her collegiate cross-country career running in an air cast following the diagnosis of her third stress fracture in her right tibia.
“I never once thought my career might be over,” said McCreedy, “I knew that if I was given that opportunity to make a comeback, I was going to make it happen. What really helped me get through it was focusing on overcoming it.”
To continue her career, McCreedy unknowingly incorporated a Marine Corps leadership principle: “Know yourself and seek self-improvement,” into her workout regimen. At the beginning of her freshman year of college, she began to see a kinesiologist twice weekly to adjust her running mechanics to reduce recurrence of injury. She continued to work with the specialist during the cross-country season to ensure she wasn’t reverting to old running habits that led to her injuries.
McCreedy not only exemplifies what it means to be a committed athlete, she also sets the example as a quality citizen and a community leader. She is regularly delivering Meals on Wheels in her local community, as well as volunteering as an Assistant Superintendent for the Cass County 4-H Horse program and leads numerous workshops each year for young equestrians. This further emboldens the fact that she is receiving the award, this genuine ability to selflessly lead within one’s community is a trait that is instilled in every Marine.
“Taylor has served as a team captain for her collegiate cross-country team,” said Dee Brown, McCreedy’s coach, “she is more than just committed to her sports, ambitions, and team. She is a committed friend. Her values are strong, and her choices are wise. She works hard in the classroom as well as in her training. She is a great role model for her peers.”
McCreedy not only makes her coaches, family, and peers proud, with her display of perseverance and dedication, but these characteristics also garnered the attention Northwest Missouri State, where she has committed to run cross-country, continuing her journey.
“MCRC is proud to recognized [Taylor] McCreedy for her perseverance and ‘never-give-up’ attitude,” said Biedryzcki, “She not only reflects greatly upon herself but her hard-work in the face of adversity embodies what means to be a Marine, and is what we look for in our Marine leaders.”
The partnership Marine Corps Recruiting Command has with NJCAA engages educators, coaches, and school administrators to increase awareness of the Marine Corps and galvanize recognition that the values taught to student-athletes, and exemplified by those like McCreedy, align with the Marine Corps’ core values of honor, courage and commitment.