NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Cross Country Program

The cross country program was revived earlier this semester when Athletic Director Sue MacAvoy hired Thom Bradley to coach and bring in students to the team. The recruiting process started off slow, but one student has been there from the start.

Jared Shepard was the lone NECC runner for the first two meets of the season, this being his first year of organized cross country. Unfortunately, during the second meet, Shepard got injured.

“My first meet I ran a 30:56 (5 miles) and my second meet I improved to a 30:10. I actually sprained my ankle about 4 miles into that race, and have been having problems with my leg since then, so I am unable to run right now,” Shepard said.  Shepard is staying in high spirits though, looking forward to running again.

“The day of the meet I have a big breakfast; a few eggs, bacon, some fruit, et cetera. I drink a lot of water, from the time I wake up until the time I run I probably have 4 or 5 bottles, and a few more after I run. I stretch for 15 to 20 minutes, then do some jogging and running to loosen and warm myself up. Right before the race starts I do a few sprints and then I line up and we go,” Shepard said.  Sue MacAvoy has only good things to say about Shepard and his efforts.

“Jared Shepard is trying to get this program off the ground, is attending practices daily and even runs in the President’s running club on his own time to get a little extra workout in and promote the team on campus,” MacAvoy said.  Since Shepard got injured, three more runners have been added to the team.

“Thankfully, more people signed up. I ran the first two meets by myself, but now there are two girls, Sarah and Leah, and another guy, Austin, who is a very talented runner and Spartan Racer. We have a great team and we all get along well when we’re together,” said Shepard.  The 3 new runners all had impressive debuts. Austin Thiele ran 32:38 in his 8K race. Leah Finnegan ran 28:29 and Sara Wullf ran 32:50 in their 5K race.

The team has two meets left in the season, one on Oct. 1 and the other on Nov. 7. Shepard hopes to get healthy soon to start running again, but if he can’t finish the season he will be looking forward to spring when he takes on the track season, another program NECC has recently revived.


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