Finger Lakes Community College will host the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Cross Country National Championships on the Bruce Bridgman course at its Canandaigua Campus on Saturday, November 12. The Women’s race will begin at 10am and the Men will run at 11am.
The meet will bring in approximately 250 runners from over 40 two-year colleges across the country. Finger Lakes’ Cross Country course was developed in 1985. It was first redesigned in 1992 to host the first-ever NJCAA DIII National Championships. The course, 8 kilometers for the men’s race and 5 kilometers for the women’s race, recently underwent another redesign for the 2014 National Championships.
“Competing in a national championship event is an opportunity very few student athletes are able to experience,” explains Finger Lakes Athletic Director Bob Lowden. “We welcome all the runners and coaches to Finger Lakes Community College and hope they enjoy the competition and challenge of our course and the meet.”
The night before the race, Finger Lakes will hold the Championship Banquet for the runners and coaches participating. Emceed by Bob Lowden, the banquet will feature Jack Coons as its keynote speaker. Coons, a native of Canandaigua, NY, was a sectional champion for the Braves in cross country and in the half mile and high jump in track. He was one of the top finisher (21st) in the Boston Marathon in 1963 with a time of 2:40.
Aside from his time as a competitor, Coons also started the women’s cross country team at Finger Lakes CC in 1986 and served as the Director of Athletics until 1991 and the Health and Physical Education Department Chair until 1992. He was a four time NJCAA Region III Coach of the Year.