Sept 5, 2016 - Catonsville, MD
Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville has a new team that students and faculty will see a lot of around campus. This Fall, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams will compete within the NJCAA ranks and travel throughout the Atlantic Coast area competing against Div-I, Div-II, Div-III and other Community College teams in the sport everyone has participated in at one time of their life.
Running is the common dominator in all sports…….one could not do soccer, basketball, baseball, football, lacrosse or tennis without running. And in the Catonsville community, running is popular among residents alike. So it made sense to the Athletic Administration to start a cross country team.
The hiring of Mark Pryor as head coach signified the Athletic Department’s commitment to helping the team be successful. Coach Pryor has over 15 years coaching experience in the college ranks (Div-I) as well as locally in Baltimore County high schools. Pryor’s vast knowledge of the sport as well as familiarity with the community is a formula that the Athletic Department hopes translates into building a thriving program. The Syracuse University graduated was a scholarship XC/T&F athlete for the Orangemen and competed professionally in the 800 and 1500m for Nike in the early 90s. Coach Pryor enjoyed a successful HS coaching career with over 10 MD State individual champions and at least 5 HS All-Americans.
Coach Pryor was officially hired in May and in 4 short months he has already successfully recruited 6 men and 2 women who have all signed Letters of Intent to attend CCBC at Catonsville and be members of the cross country team. Coach Pryor made several visits to local high schools, talked to the majority of high school track coaches in Maryland as well as recruited at the MPSSAA State T&F Championships on May 31st. While it was not easy, Coach Pryor feels that high school student-athletes will come to realize that CCBC Catonsville is a great option to continuing their education as well as their running careers. With tuition at 4-year colleges and universities skyrocketing, the best economical choice is Community College.
CCBC Academic Advisor Etroy Nelson will serve as Assistant Coach but more importantly help members of the cross country team stay on the right path to graduating so they have the opportunity to continue their pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree as well as Master’s programs.
Coach Pryor and Assistant Athletic Director Melissa Miller worked very hard in the summer to recruit and sign the following students:
Charles Golphin (Randallstown HS, Baltimore MD)
Byron Clark (Overlea HS, Baltimore MD)
Timothy Gray (Friendship Academy, Baltimore MD)
Nate Gebrehawariat (Catonsville HS, Baltimore MD)
Clifford McEachin (Woodlawn HS, Baltimore MD)
Dasia Molock (Milford Mill HS, Baltimore, MD)
The team will be seen running around various sites in Baltimore County but also around campus. Pool workouts, uphill repeats, weight room core work and of course relaxed long runs will be the recipe used by Coach Pryor to get his team ready for the 8k (5.0 miles) and 5k (3.1 miles) races on grass and various terrain. Stay tuned to hear how the Cardinals fare against other schools from September to November and possibly qualify for the NJCAA Cross Country Championships in November.