The Marion Military Institute cross country teams finished their inaugural season with a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament. Both teams captured the Alabama Community College Conference this fall, which was on their list of team goals, "I could not be more proud of this team and the accomplishments we achieved together," stated head coach Christopher Lawrence. "From the start I told both teams that the goal was not only to win the ACCC Championship but to compete in the classroom as well. I tell them all the time that Marion is only a pit stop to their final destination."
For the men's team, freshman Colin Bonds was voted team captain by his teammates. "He was selected because of his leadership on and off the course," added Coach Lawrence. Freshman Nicholas Abiinanti III led the team on the course with multiple Top 20 finishes during the season. He was named the ACCC Runner of the Year as he completed the Region 22 course first, and provided a spark for the Tigers to capture the men's title. He was also nominated for the USTFCCCA Runner of the Year for the Central Region. Freshman Cameron Covington was named the Most Improved Runner. "As a walk-on Cameron worked hard to prove his status as one of the top runners in the conference. That hard work paid off as he finished the ACCC Tournament in second place. We will look for him to improve even more."
For the women, the Lady Tigers were led by freshman Teresa Gaspar Herrera, who was voted Team Captain and led her squad to an ACCC Championship title. She was also crowned ACCC Runner of the Year and nominated for USTFCCCA Runner of the Year in the Central Region. Sophomore Hannah Maynard was selected Co-captain for her leadership. "Hannah was the team mom for us, and her leadsership was a true asset to the team and me as the coach," stated Lawrence. "She worked extremely hard on and off the course this fall and really helped make us successful. She set the standard for both teams." Freshman Jada Batiste was named Most Improved Runner for the women as she improved her 5K time by five minutes.
Congratulations to all of the cross country runners on a great season!