NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College head cross country coach Shawn McCullion has revamped both cross country rosters, signing five women and five men to be part of this year's squads.
On the women's side, three runners from South Carolina and two from the West Coast join the Wolves for the 2011 season.
Rebecca Eddy, of Eugene, Ore., was an individual state qualifier for Henry D. Sheldon High School. She was an individual state qualifer with a personal record 19 minutes, 42 seconds in the 5k.
Bakersfield, Calif., native Stephanie Powell was her squad's MVP twice and a team captain at Bakersfield High School. She was also a three-year letterman in basketball.
Kelley Strong was voted Female Athlete of the Year at Union County High School. She won six varsity letters and was named to the all-region cross country team in 2010. She was a tri-sport athlete earning six more track letters as well as two wrestling letters.
Ariel Strong is transferring in from Converse College. While she did not run for the Valkyries, she was named runner of the year at North Central High School in 2009.
Rounding out the recruiting class is Rachel McFall. She joins the team from St. James High School.
“I am extremely happy about our 2011 recruiting class. We feel we have recruited a team that will make a solid foundation for the future here at Newberry College," McCullion said. "We brought in runners from all over the country that have brought a passion for running with them and, in a short amount of time, have become a tight knit squad.”
On the men's side, McCullion searched across the country for his recruiting class which includes men from North Carolina, California, Texas, Missouri and Michigan.
Austin Sorensen led Murrieta (Calif.) High School to two cross country league championships. The California native also wrestled his senior year.
Justin Golay was a four time conference champion at Fordland (Mo.) R-III High School. He ran to a district title three times and was named all-Missouri three times. Golay was a three sport athlete playing four years of varsity basketball and three years of varsity baseball.
Alex Holshoe was a two time all-conference runner, wrestled, played baseball and ran track at Hopkins (Mich.) High School.
Sabin Cotten ran a personal record 16:47 in the 5k his senior year at Jordan-Matthews High School (Siler City, N.C.) and was named all-conference in both cross country and basketball.
Nathan Collier of Weatherford High School in Texas rounds out McCullion's recruits for the year.
The cross country teams will open their seasons on Sept. 3 in Greensboro, N.C., at the Guilford Cross Country Carnival.
“I believe we have recruited a team that can be more competitive than we have been in our league in the past years. We've brought in guys from all over the country," McCullion said. "We have a recruiting philosophy to bring in high academic kids who are motivated to be the best runners they can be. I feel we succeed in this mantra."