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Tue, Feb. 18

Coconino Community College enters athletics with cross-country running team

Adobe stock/photo

Adobe stock/photo

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The application has been filed, an athletic director has been selected and fundraising has begun for the creation of a cross-country team at Coconino Community College. The team will be funded entirely by donations.

Be with CCC at the starting line, Thursday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Lone Tree Campus, as college staff, supporters and volunteers discuss accomplishments and milestones to achieve in getting the team up and running by the fall of 2020.

“Intercollegiate athletics can be an important part of the educational experience for community college students nationwide, promoting such traits in student athletes of the sport as teamwork, perseverance, responsibility, commitment and time management,” said CCC Dean of Student Affairs Tony Williams, who was given the nod to be athletic director for the new sports program. “Given that Flagstaff is known for its running community worldwide, it seems only fitting that CCC’s first program would be men’s and women’s cross-country.”

The formation of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams was announced in September 2019 during the CCC Foundation Annual Breakfast fundraiser. More than $9,000 were raised at the breakfast for the cross-country team, which is the first-ever athletic program at the college.

“We believe cross-country will benefit current and future students,” said Reggie Eccleston, volunteer for the CCC Cross-Country planning committee. “Studies show sports enhance physical and mental health. It can help battle obesity, depression, anxiety and other ailments. Participating in a sport teaches individuals how to compete, think strategically, work as a team member and problem solve. We look forward to enhancing the student experience at CCC with this athletic program.”

Since the announcement, college staff has been busy applying to the National Junior College Athletic Association for inclusion. Once the membership application is approved, CCC can begin recruiting for student athletes. Next steps are to hire a coach for the teams and to continue raising funds to support the program.

Northern Arizona is internationally known as a prime location for athletes interested in high-altitude training, and the region has a vibrant running community. Additionally, high school runners experience considerable success in their athletic careers. And nearby Northern Arizona University has an award-winning running team. CCC has been approached over the last few years about developing a cross-country athletic team.

CCC envisioned the cross-country program to offer opportunity to high school students wishing to continue in the sport as well as promote community building and engagement through a host of community partners. A facility is not needed to start the program. It is already provided by Mother Nature.

The Feb. 20 event allows members of the community to meet with CCC staff and volunteers to answer questions about the program. Whether residents are interested in more information, offering a helping hand or providing a few needed dollars, the event is an opportunity to be a part of history for the college.

CCC’s Lone Tree Campus is located at 2800 S. Lone Tree Road in Flagstaff. The creation of CCC Cross-Country is a joint venture between the CCC Foundation and the college. For more information about CCC Cross-Country, or to make a donation, visit www.coconino.edu/foundation, or call Steve Peru at (928) 226-4188

Information provided by Coconino Community College

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