HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State Community College is reintroducing its men's and women's cross country programs beginning with the 2017 fall season, Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics has announced.
Before being discontinued in June 2008, Wallace State previously fielded cross country teams and won a men's Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) title during its final cross country season in the fall of 2007.
Beginning in August, the teams will once again compete during the fall season.
"Wallace State has a strong athletics tradition, and a history of supporting the widest array of athletic teams in the Alabama Community College System, even before our recent reintroduction of tennis, women's golf and now cross country. Sports provide access to the college for so many students, enhance student engagement, and promote self-discipline and pursuit of excellence. We believe it's an important part of the college experience. Now that other community colleges are again offering athletics, we have the competition available to our students, which makes cross-country viable. We are very glad to field men's and women's teams again beginning this fall," Karolewics said.
Saint Bernard cross country coach William Calvert and local runner and track and field official Mark Aderhold have been hired to serve as Wallace State's cross country recruiters as the college seeks to fill out the roster of both units.
Calvert, also a former principal at Cold Springs High, has won five cross country state championships while coaching at St. Bernard, and Aderhold is very active
in the community regarding cross country and track and field events.
"I was extremely excited to learn that Wallace State is bringing back its cross country program. I was a big supporter of the program when they once fielded cross country, and I believe cross country has picked up steam across the state ever since. It's one of the fastest growing sports in Alabama," said Calvert, who has coached cross country for more than 30 years. "I don't think there will be any problem fielding a very competitive team for the men and the women. Like with every other program at Wallace State, I expect the team to be competitive and on a championship-caliber level sooner than you might think.
"It will be a strong program because every athletics program at Wallace State is excellent. I'm ready to begin the recruiting process."
Wallace State's cross country teams were perennial conference contenders before being discontinued. The men's program won five conference championships (1995, 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2006) and the women won titles in 1998 and 2001. Additionally, the track and field program won a men's NJCAA Division II national title in 1997 under coach Stan Narewski. It's one of seven NJCAA national championships the college has achieved.
With the addition of men's and women's cross country, Wallace State will offer scholarships to potential athletes in 12 different sports, joining baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis and cheerleading.
Wallace State's tennis teams were reintroduced in 2016, and the men's team has already won an ACCC championship since the reboot.
In addition to the 1997 national championship earned by track and field, Wallace State has won two national championships in softball (2008, 2013), two in men's tennis (1995, 1996) and two in women's tennis (1995, 1999).
To learn more about the Wallace State cross country program, you are encouraged to contact Calvert at 256.612.3028 or Aderhold at 256.708.3569.