Juanita Etheridge could possibly be considered one of the most multifaceted female athletes of her time. The Virginia Beach, Virginia native and First Colonial High School graduate excelled in varsity basketball, field hockey, and track & field.
The outstanding athlete would take her talent to James Madison University to play basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse. After two years, Etheridge transferred closer to home to attend Old Dominion University where she was a standout in basketball and tennis. Etheridge was twice named Old Dominion University Female Athlete of the Year.
Etheridge, a Health and Physical Education major, rediscovered her passion for running after graduating from Old Dominion University. As one of Hampton Roads elite runners, she participated in road races from Virginia Beach to Canada. Etheridge won Norfolk’s Elizabeth River Run Race four years in a row. More impressively, she was the female record holder for the Shamrock Marathon for ten consecutive years with a record time of 2:44:08. She would place 44th overall. In the 1980s, Etheridge would go on to win thirty-three consecutive road races and compete in five marathons.
In 1993, Etheridge was inducted into the Tidewater Virginia Softball Hall of Fame along with her teammates on the Bay Skippers amateur softball team that played locally and nationally in the late 70s and late 80s.
A fearless leader and competitor, Etheridge’s love for athletics and teaching landed her coaching stints in the late 80’s at Norfolk State University as the head cross country and track & field coach. After nine years of working for Norfolk Parks and Recreation, she would later become a successful high school coach at Granby High School in Norfolk, Virginia. Etheridge led the girls’ basketball team to four regional appearances, the girls’ field hockey team to two district championships and four regional appearances, and the girls’ track team to a district championship and one regional appearance.
Etheridge continues to shape the lives of young people as a health and physical education teacher at Granby High School. In May 2012, Etheridge won the Norfolk Public Schools Inspiration Award for Most Outstanding in Health and Physical Education.