HCC to add cross country teams this fall

Men's and women's teams to compete this year

July 29, 2011

Men's and women's cross country have been added as intercollegiate varsity sports beginning with the 2011 fall season, Harford Community College announced Thursday.

The Harford Athletic Department previously sponsored cross country as a club sport for the past three years.

"Cross country is a great addition to our menu of varsity sports, allowing opportunities for both men and women," Harford Athletics Director Ken Krsolovic said. "We will have a good opportunity to be very competitive right away, which truly excites us."

While always keeping Title IX and gender equity issues on the docket, this addition will give the Fighting Owls 14 intercollegiate sports teams, seven men's teams and seven women's teams, that all compete at the Division I level of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). All 14 teams compete in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MD JUCO), tying Harford with Hagerstown for the most junior college athletic teams in the state.

Five other MD JUCO schools sponsor both men's and women's cross country teams (Anne Arundel, Garrett, Hagerstown, Howard and Prince George's), while CCBC-Essex has only a women's team. This is the first change to Harford's lineup of varsity sport offerings since women's soccer replaced field hockey in the fall 2001.

Under the direction of J. Murray Davis, the Fighting Owl cross country teams will begin competing in September. He was hired as the head coach of the club cross country team last season, and he brings with him more than 25 years of coaching experience in the cross country field, including the head coach of the cross country teams and associate head coach for the track and field teams at UMBC from 2000 to 2006. He earned America East Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 for cross country. Davis was also the head track and field coach at C. Milton Wright High School from 1997 to 2000. He received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Towson University in 2001.

"I am extremely excited that the college is committed to making this a varsity sport," Davis said in a press release. "Now, the student-athletes in the area will have a place to go to continue their running careers. With the tremendous academic success that the school has, this will also give them a chance to advance to four-year schools to continue their education."

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