Wallace State’s cross country teams open the season today in the Jacksonville State Strut’s Opener at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park.
The Lions are competing in their second fall season since the program was reintroduced last season.
“We’ve assembled a good group. Both teams love to compete and push each other. You can feel the competitiveness at each practice,” said long-time Wallace State coach Stan Narewski. “How good are we going to be? That remains to be seen. I do know people are going to be impressed our runners are from Wallace State.”
Today’s opening meet in Oxford features 19 teams, spanning an array of divisions and conferences.
Wallace State also has meets scheduled this season at UAH, Montevallo, Jacksonville and Rome, Ga.
Wallace State’s men feature returning sophomores Victor Bravo, Brennen Wink and Jacob Guthrie.
Bravo was Wallace State’s top finisher in all four meets last season, including being named to the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) All-Tournament team. Bravo, an Albertville grad, placed fourth at the conference tournament.
“Victor Bravo can run with anyone. More importantly, he’s a great person and is an intelligent student. Victor’s a better runner than he was a year ago. His work ethic is tremendous, and he’s excited to be surrounded by quality teammates. It makes everyone better,” Narewski said.
Cole Nabors rounds out the men’s sophomore class.
Drake Patton and Tanner King, both high school teammates, highlight Wallace State’s freshman class after each were state champions at Northside High in Northport.
Rounding out the freshman class are Cullman’s Eli Wilhite, Hamza Abusammour (Haleyville), Joshua Jenkins (Hewitt-Trussville), Alex Leary (Hoover) and Kolter Lindsay.
Wallace State’s women have four sophomores: Taylor Barkley (Lawrence County), Miriam Smith (Guntersville), Marlena Ramirez (Boaz) and Kelsey Borden (Brewer).
Barkley earned a spot on the ACCC All-Tournament last season, and Smith was a key component as well. Borden joins the Lady Lions after coming to Wallace State on a volleyball scholarship.
Wallace State has five freshmen on this season’s squad: Makala Worrell (Northside), Tatiana Padgett (Pinson Valley), Jacqueline Serrano (J.B. Pennington), Alex McDonald (Fairview) and Alexandra Holt (Cullman).
“Every runner worked extremely hard during the summer and came to the first practice with a great attitude. We have a quality group. We’ve had some of the best weeks I can ever remember having as a team at Wallace State. I think people will take notice,” Narewski said.
Tony Crider returns for his second season as assistant coach.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.
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