Student-athletes at Northeast Alabama Community College will soon begin competing as NACC’s Men’s and Women’s Cross Country season begins next month. 10 students will compete for the Mustangs this season.
“We are very excited about our having women’s and men’s cross country teams at the college now,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “Coach Laney has done an outstanding job putting our teams together and recruiting some of the best runners in the area. There are many outstanding local high school programs from which to draw. Coach Laney himself is an outstanding person and our students will learn so much from him in all ways.”
Coach Patrick Laney is ready to get the season started after training this summer. “I am very pleased with how the athletes have responded to our virtual training days,” said Coach Laney. “It has both given them more freedom to own their training and provided flexibility for most of them who are busy or live an hour from campus. We have been doing two mandatory and two optional practices on campus each week and participation and performance has been awesome. In some ways I know more about our college runners than those I used to coach every day in person because I get their vitals via the Stava app.”
The team participated in a scrimmage run on Thursday, August 17th. “I am super excited about Thursday,” said Coach Laney. “Based on our training for the last week, our Men are right where I hoped to be at this point and we are healthy, so the summer (training) was a huge success. The Women are doing great as well. I am really proud of the group, and I could not be more pleased with the people they are and how they are representing us.”
These students make up this year’s Mustang Cross Country teams:
Arely Acosta Garcia
Eber Perez Ramirez
The students are all scholarship recipients, and two students (Raven Fairley and Shelton Linville) also serve the college as Presidential Hosts.
NACC’s Associate Dean of Instruction Barbara Kilgore also serves as the college’s Athletic Director. “We couldn’t be more excited to offer students the opportunity to compete in Cross Country,” said Kilgore. “Cross Country is a sport that promotes self-discipline. Every day you are competing with yourself to be better. I don’t remember who originally said this, but it is true. Cross Country has “No half-times, no time-outs, no substitutions, no excuses. It is you against you!” These kids are tough! They are tough mentally and physically, and they have to be. They do what every other sport uses for punishment, and they call it fun. Coach Laney is doing a great job helping these kids become the best version of themselves on the trail and in their day to day lives. I cannot wait to see what they accomplish this first season and beyond.”
NACC cross-country teams will join other Alabama Community College schools in competing under the umbrella of the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC), which is headed by Commissioner Dean Myrick. “The Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) has shown unprecedented growth over the last few months, with Northeast Alabama being a big part of that,” said Commissioner Myrick. “Cross country, in particular, has shown immense growth, going from two teams three years ago to eight teams this year. We thank Dr. Campbell for his athletic vision and support and look forward to the opportunities it presents potential student-athletes in the future.”
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