New Hawks Cross Country Coach Ken Killion is ready to start the season and is excited for his new opportunity to rebuild the Cross Country team at CSM.
"I'm excited," said Killion, "I'm very, very passionate about the sport."
Killion is not new to cross country, as he has an abundance of experience coaching cross country at the high school and collegiate level. He started the cross country team at East Stroudsburg University in 1977, and it became a varsity sport in 1981, all to his credit and effort to push this sport and give opportunities to young athletes who aspire to succeed in athletics and academics. In addition to East Stroudsburg, Killion's coaching resume includes serving as a head coach at William Tenant, Central Bucks West, and Wissahickon High Schools in the Greater Philadelphia area, as well as Delaware Valley College. While he doesn't have the experience coaching junior college, Killion was a cross country runner at Bucks County Community College, so he is able to relate to his runners competing at this level.
So far there are three runners on the Hawks' Cross Country team. Sierra Walker is a freshman at CSM, who previously ran cross country at Northpoint High School (Bennsville, MD).
"She is a well-conditioned runner," said Killion. "She was able to train over the summer. She has room for improvement from what she has accomplished in high school. She has made good strides so far and I believe she will score well on her times."
The other runner for the Hawks is Jeremy McGraw. A freshman at CSM this year, Jeremy hails from Huntington. Although he does not have a lot of Cross Country Experience, only running one year in high school, Killion believes that McGraw can succeed in this sport.
"He has some training to do, but he has worked hard this summer in addition to working outside of school," said Killion. "It's a matter of him getting his feet wet in order to succeed this season."
Another runner returning from last year's team is Raymond McLeod, who interchanged from the third and fourth runner for the Hawks last season.
"He will be a key contributor to the team this year" says Killion.
A couple goals that Killion wants to instill in his runners is accountability and mental toughness.
"I tell them to act like they belong there (at the meets)," says Killion, "regardless of who you are competing against. I also want them to be mentally tough because after the first few hundred yards you are in constant physical pain. There aren't any timeouts and you can't take a break in a meet. We need to prepare our runners mentally as much as we do physically. It's a matter of being in the right mindset to compete on this level."
With the right training, attitude, and mindset, Killion believes this can be the formula for success for the Cross Country program at CSM. Their first meet is on Saturday, Sept 8th at 11:30 am in the Shannon Henretty Invitational at Stevenson University.