Friday, February 2, 2018

Seminole State College athletics is adding cross-country

Junior College Cross-Country just keeps growing in Florida. On Friday, 2 February 2018, Seminole State College announced plans to compete in both men's and women's cross-country, starting with the 2018 season. The Raiders currently field teams in men's baseball, women's softball, and women's golf.


Seminole State won't be introducing cross-country; the Sanford, Florida school will be restoring it. Back when the school was known as Seminole Community College, the Raiders sent men's teams to the National Junior College Athletic Association Cross-Country Championships on several occasions, placing seventeenth in 1976, eleventh in 1978, 15th in 1979, and ninth in 1980. Bryan Artzt, the 1976 Florida High School Cross-Country State Champion, was on Seminole's 1978 team. Paul Waldron ran on Seminole's team in 1979 before moving on to run cross-country and track at Florida State. Terry Long coached at Seminole in the 1970s before moving on to head coaching positions at Sante Fe Community College and Florida State University.


The Raiders cross-country teams will compete in Region 8 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. As of the 2017 season, the region included five women's team--Chipola College, Florida State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, South Florida State College, and Tallahassee Community College. Florida Gateway College and Daytona State College are also scheduled to field women's cross-country teams in 2018, making a league of eight competing schools. Tallahassee Community College was the only Region 8 school with a men's cross-country team in 2017, but the Daytona State men will be racing in 2018 also. If just one more school joins Daytona State, Seminole State, and Tallahassee Community College in competing in men's cross-country, there will be enough teams to hold a Region 8 men's cross-country championship race (the minimum is four).


Seminole State Director of Athletics Kurt Esser hopes to have a coach in place by the end of spring semester. Student-athletes and a schedule should follow. Before you know it, it will be cross-country season and you can look for the Raiders at the NJCAA Region 8 Cross-Country Championships at Apalachee Regional Park.


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