More Than A Neighbor

If any significant drawback to living with a teammate exists, Shuaib Winters and Isaiah Coleman have yet to experience them.

Winters, a senior from Conyers, Ga. and 2010 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men’s cross country individual champion, has been living with cross-country teammate Isaiah Coleman for more than a year.

“A teammate is actually someone I’d prefer to live with. I like having a teammate close by who will be able to check on me when it comes to matters on the field,” Winters said.

Winters said positives for living with a fellow runner include always being on time for morning practice and the development of a healthy bond between both teammates.

“Because of the cross country schedule, living with a teammate brings you both a lot closer together than what would be the case with a roommate from outside of the team,” Winters said. “You’re both going to the same place and have similar goals.”

Fellow teammate and roommate Isaiah Coleman, a junior from Jacksonville, also emphasized an advantage to living with a teammate.

“Living with a teammate gives you the chance to surround yourself with someone who’s always willing to go the extra mile to help you out in any way that they can,” Coleman said. “Optimism will benefit you both as athletes and as friends.”

Winters credits much of his success as a Florida A&M athlete to living with a friend and teammate. He feels that he has “benefitted much more” from living with Coleman than he probably would have with a roommate that is not a part of the team.

Winters and Coleman agreed that their friendship has reaped numerous benefits.

“Living with Shuaib has helped our friendship grow a lot,” Coleman said. “Our friendship has become a lot stronger since we’ve began living together.”

Wayne Angel, head coach of the Men’s Cross Country team, perceives a good connection between the roommates.

“They’re kind of like Oscar and Felix,” Angel said. “They’re like brothers.”

During the MEAC Cross Country Championship last year, Winters posted a new course record and personal best time of 24:31.30, surpassing the previous field best of 24:52.70 by 20 seconds.

Winters’ next meet for the 2011 season will take place on Weds., Sept. 7, at Bethune-Cookman University.