Coach Jake Turner is entering his third year (out of 4 years in program history) of leading the cross country program at NCA. He is extremely excited about this new group, although the team is very young. He has a junior in Kaitlynn Ford but no seniors on the team. Connor VanHoosier is the most experienced male runner, but he is only a sophomore. “We are a little wet behind the ears, but I think we have a chance to really improve as the season moves forward,” stated Coach Turner. The team’s most talented runner, Ella Jeffrey, is a sophomore that finished 5th in the state in her division last year. Jeffrey runs a sub 20-minute 5k and is really hoping to take her time to another level this season. The cross country program at NCA has grown each year with this year being the most runners the school has had yet. It is now one of the most popular sports at Northside and students have seen how much fun it is to compete. That should pay dividends in years to come as the members of the cross country program continue to get more experience. “Right now, our kids are sipping on milk but there will be a day when we are able to compete with anybody. That day is not too far in the future, and I think this year we will have a great opportunity to take a big step,” stated Turner.
The cross country team participates in tomorrow’s “Race to the Finish” 5k fundraiser meet at Northside, and Coach Turner is viewing this as a chance to get valuable experience before next weekend’s first official race at CIU. For a cross country schedule, click the schedule link online and come out to support your Crusaders!