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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A New Cross Country Program

Junior+Captain+Johnny+Long

Junior Captain Johnny Long

Over the course of the past few years, Coach Consandria Walker has built the UMass Boston track and field program into one of the strongest forces in the Little East Conference. The young Coach and her athletes have seen numerous Regional and National track meets, and have featured several All-American athletes in both the men’s and women’s squads. Names like Carl Joseph and Hulerie Mcguffie are names that make other teams shutter in fear.
Now, Walker has set her sights on a new goal. The objective is to rebuild and establish UMass Boston as a dominant Cross Country program, not just within the LEC, but as a nationally recognized division III name. Having said that, everything starts with the students.
Walker’s goals for the program won’t come overnight. This year however, the coach has high expectations for her squad and anticipates seeing great improvement within her athletes. Walker explained that the men’s and women’s track and field teams have talented new recruits and some seasoned experienced returning athletes. “We have a lot of new faces this year. I expect our freshmen to transition smoothly into the new competition mileage from high school. Returner Johnny Long and Patrick Boua led the squad last year in competition and with new comers Jeff Noyes, Cameron Chase & Jeremiah Bohan Broderick,” said Walker. “On the women’s side sophomore Adrianna Fredo, transfer Audrie Cortes and Track and Field All American Hulerie McGuffie will be our standouts.”
Despite the positives, the team will face some adversity due to their small roster size. In Cross Country, seven student-athletes compete during a meet, but only “five student athletes scores points towards the overall team score and two student athletes displace to earn a team score,” said Walker. “Currently our women’s squad has six ladies which puts us at risk if there are injuries during the season.” Not only are the women short numbered, the men also have a small roster size going into this season.
But size isn’t always what matters. Steady improvement and dedication is what propels a team to new heights. Fortunately, for the Cross Country team, the men and women are extremely hardworking and persevering student athletes. “Though we have had challenges towards numbers on the team we have been fortunate to have extremely hard working and dedicated student athletes,” said Walker. Not to mention, “The Cross Country program have had a consistent academic [record] over the years and have continued to do so each year. [We] have continued to balance academics and athletics really well.”
During the program’s path to success, the team is in search of new members. While some students may be concerned about time commitment, Walker wants to reiterate her dedication to establishing an environment where sports and academics go hand in hand. The team has one of the highest collective GPAs within the Athletic Department. Cross Country not only strives for success on the field; they pursue and maintain academic success as well.
Students with a history in long distance running, or even for those who are just interested in trying something new, should reach out to Coach Walker at [email protected]. The team is a close knit unit, and being a member offers a new opportunity to compete and have fun.