LAKELAND--Cross Country is coming to Southeastern University! Fire Athletics Director, Duane Aagaard, announced the addition of both men's and women's cross country, Wednesday afternoon, through a release on the Fire's athletic website.
The two programs will begin official competition in the fall of 2012, and the expansion now moves the Fire from nine to 13 varsity teams, combining with SEU's announcement of beginning men's tennis and women's softball back in January. Those two sports are also scheduled to begin official competition this upcoming fall.
"Cross Country will be a great addition to the Southeastern University Athletics Department," said Aagaard. "I have tremendous respect for distant runners, their mental discipline serves as a great resource for a life committed to growing in Christ."
The expansion also helps bolster The Sun Conference, as all 11 existing members will now offer men's and women's cross country as varsity sports.
"I can’t wait to see Southeastern Cross Country runners training across Lakeland, running around Lake Hollingsworth, Lake Mirror, and downtown," added Aagaard.
SEU will immediately look to hire a Director of Cross Country position, which will be responsible for overseeing the everyday operations of both programs.
“On behalf of The Sun Conference, congratulations and well done, Southeastern," said Sun Conference Commissioner Mark Pope. "Your addition of this great sport gives our conference the potential to sponsor 11 Men’s and 11 Women’s Cross Country Teams next year. As a committed runner for over 40 years, I can tell you that Cross Country is truly a sport that will stay with you for life. You will also find an added benefit is the high level of scholarship that usually accompanies a Cross Country team.”
Both cross country programs will carry competitive roster sizes for the upcoming season.
Potential coaching candidates and students athletes interested in participating in cross country are encouraged to contact Duane Aagaard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 863-667-5046.