Many of you may not have noticed something new at Tech this year; A Cross Country team made up of a group of committed students, ready to run. Tech is part of the NAIA Frontier Conference, made up of Carroll College in Helena, the University of Great Falls, Lewis-Clark State, Idaho, Rocky Mountain College in Billings, and Westminster, Utah.
The Frontier conference has been facing the issue of not having enough Cross Country teams to send runners to Nationals, and Tech was the only school in the conference that had yet to start Cross Country as an official sport. For the conference to qualify for national recognition, Tech needed to start a team that consisted of at least five boys and five girls. This fall of 2010, a small group of runners was formed to begin competing against other teams in the conference. This came as a big excitement to the runners at other colleges who were waiting on Tech for an opportunity at making Nationals. Because Tech has a Cross Country team, all Frontier conference running scores from the State Championships will now be nationally recognized, and dedicated racers will be given the chance to compete at the high level!
The State Championship meet is scheduled to be held in Great Falls, Montana on November 6, 2010. Two weeks ago, the Tech team experienced their first race of the season at the Helena Golf Course. Student Runner Kaci Hockaday, who “headed up” the team had this to say; “I think it’s really good for Tech. There are a lot of people who’ve come out of high school who want to run or have run before”. She was really excited about the newly formed team, and wanted everyone to know that absolutely anyone interested in running is more than welcome to join the team, and/or join the group in working out. Professor Katie Hailer, (an Organic Chem. Teacher at Tech), and Michelle Bazzanalla, have written up workout plans and practice schedules for the team to help them get started.
Though this year is a sort of, “trial run” for the Digger runners, next year holds high hopes of forming a truly official Cross Country team complete with recruiting, scholarships, and coaches. Freshman runner Courtney Greyn said, “It’s really exciting to be a part of the first trial team. The expectation of having a true Cross Country team next year really helps to reassure my decision to come to Tech for school”.
Cross Country at Tech appears very promising and will be a great opportunity for future students, working towards scholarships and a chance to continue competing in a sport they love. Good Luck to this year’s Digger runners and high hopes for the future!