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On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: MCCC Women's Cross Country To Begin Training in August

West Windsor, N.J. - Head Coach Erin Cahill has high hopes for Mercer County Community College's fledgling women's cross country team, set to begin training August. 1. She spent time during the spring semester attending high school track meets and establishing contacts with coaches.

"We want to get the word out that Mercer is adding this varsity sport. Given the level of talent at area high schools, we expect to be competitive," Cahill said.

The Vikings will compete in Division I against other regional community colleges as well as Division II and III schools in the tri-state area. According to Cahill, training will take place primarily at neighboring Mercer County Park, but also at other county parks including Veteran's Park, Princeton Battlefield and Washington Crossing. "We will mix it up and get the team used to the terrain of other parks," she says. Meets will take place on Saturdays from September through November.

Cahill notes that because this is a new team, prior cross country experience is not required, but runners should have a high level of fitness and be able to handle the mileage and training associated with a collegiate cross country program. Because of the program's Division I status, Mercer will be able to offer in-county tuition rates to out-of-county runners.

Cahill's goal is a roster of five or more runners to start, which will enable Mercer to score as a team at meets. "I also hope to create a 'feeder' system with local high schools so that they continue to send runners to Mercer each year," she says. "Success with our first group will help to spread the word and lay a solid foundation for the program's growth."

Cahill comes to her coaching post with considerable experience. As an undergraduate at The College of New Jersey from 2000-2004, she ran varsity cross country and indoor and outdoor track. She was a New Jersey Athletic Conference Champion in Indoor and Outdoor Track in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meter events and was named to the Div. III Atlantic Region Cross Country All-Region Team in 2003. She competed in the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships in 2001 and 2003. In 2003, she helped TCNJ earn an Atlantic Region Championship and a ninth place finish at the National Championships. She was named to the NJ Athletic Conference All-Conference Team in Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track all four seasons of her undergraduate career.

Cahill earned her master's degree in Physical Education from The College of New Jersey in 2006 and has coaching certification from the American Sports Education Program.

For more information on MCCC's Women's Cross Country Program, call 609-570-3741 or email cahille@mccc.edu.

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