Highland Women's Cross Country Season Preview

published August 15, 2016

Highland Women’s Cross Country Season Preview

There is a lot of excitement for the women’s cross country program at Highland Community College this upcoming season. Coach Chad Clevenger will now be coaching both the men and women and announces eight new signings and two returners from the 2015 team.  Coach Clevenger has coached the last six years as the Head Men’s Cross County/Track and Field Coach.  He is looking forward to working with the women’s program this fall in addition to coaching the men. Coach Clevenger will also be coaching the middle distance and distance events for indoor and outdoor track as well.

Coach Clevenger noted that, “This is definitely going to be a great experience for everyone.”  In addition to consolidating the men’s and women’s programs, the Scotties will add Coach Michael Castel to the coaching staff. “With these additions to the Cross Country program, there is a lot of excitement generating around here. As soon as I accepted the job, I immediately hit the roads and phones and started recruiting.  I feel we have put together a team that will make the College and community proud, and will be visible in the National Rankings,” stated Coach Clevenger.

The Scottie women return two of their top five runners from last year’s squad, and look to them to help guide and lead this young group of women.  Gisel Santiago (Kissimmee, FL) returns as HCC’s top runner last season.  Bailey Mistler (Owensville, MO) posted several top five finishes for the team last season.  Sophomore Stephanie Summerville (Braymer, MO) will lace them up for the first time in her career.  A multi-State medalist for Braymer C4 High School, a school that did not have cross country until recently, she is working with Coach Clevenger to add quality depth to the team.  “Stephanie is really embracing cross country and is working very hard.  I think that she is going to really help this team with her experience on the track and her ability to work hard.”

This fall, the Scotties are adding seven incoming freshmen, and Coach Clevenger couldn’t be more excited about a group of young women.  Katie Corrigan (Glendale, AZ) comes from Deer Valley High School which won the Arizona State Track Team Championship by 50 points.  Corrigan was a multi-state qualifier and school record holder. Casey Nelson (Owensville, MO) comes in from a strong Owensville program.  She was all-academic and was voted most improved for cross country and track seasons. Juliette Rios (San Antonio, TX) is a multi-area, region qualifier and two-time district champion.  Clevenger expects Rios to fight for the number one spot. Kaitlyn Slagle (St. Joseph, MO), a Benton High School product, is an All-Conference, All-District, and All-State competitor.  She has won the area Athlete of the Week award, was a member of National Honor Society, and is one of the top runners to ever come out of Benton High School. Ivanna Uribe (Omaha, NE) is also a multi-state qualifier from Burke High School, coming from one of the top programs in Nebraska. Lakashia Willis (Madison, GA), will add speed and athleticism to this group. She was a state qualifier, school record holder, and team MVP in volleyball, cross country, and track. Troy High School’s Holly Whetstine (Troy) adds a very athletic runner who will give the team quality depth.  “I’m very excited to add Holly to this team.  She has made huge improvements, just in the last week.  She is very smart, hard-working, and I am looking forward to watching her progress with our distance group.”

The women are looking to crack the top 25 nationally this fall and earn a berth at the NJCAA National Championship. “This is a fun, hard working group.  This past week working with these women has been an absolute blast.  They just make it a joy to come to work each day.  This is some of the most fun I’ve had in coaching. I look for them to be competing at the National Cross Country Championship this November in El Dorado.”

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