Friday, March 16, 2018

Lake-Sumter State College Lakehawks considering a run at cross-country

You may see some Lakehawks from Lake-Sumter State College racing in the fields and trails during the 2018 cross-country season. The school is moving toward adding the sport this year. The Lakehawk Athletic Department writes:

“Lake-Sumter State College is looking to add both men's and women's cross country teams in the fall of 2018.
“Lake-Sumter State College is soliciting support for the addition of Men's and Women's Cross Country to be fielded at the South Lake Campus in Clermont, FL.”

Although the Lakehawks would like to take the field during 2018, their participation is contingent on coming up with $40,000 to start a program. This is different from Daytona State College, Florida Gateway College, and Seminole State College, each of which are definitely committed to start competing in 2018. Chipola College, Florida State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, South Florida State College, and Tallahassee Community College fielded cross-country teams during the 2017 season.


A Lake-Sumter men's team would be especially interesting, because it would be the bring the total number of NJCAA men's teams up to four--the minimum needed for a sanctioned state championship in cross-country. Tallahassee Community College started a men's program during the 2017 season, and the Daytona State men and Seminole State men plan to join them in 2018.


Florida's junior college women already held a NJCAA Region 8 Cross-Country Championship in 2016, with Chipola College, Pasco-Hernando State College, South Florida State College, and Tallahassee Community College competing west of Tallahassee at Apalachee Regional Park. Florida State College-Jacksonville joined the field at the 2017 championship. Florida Gateway College, Seminole State College, and Daytona State College have plans to race in 2018, making eight teams. Lake-Sumter would swell the field to nine.


Here's hoping that Central Florida running clubs and distance running fans will come up with the funds to launch a Lake-Sumter State College cross-country program!


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