MIDDLETOWN – For the first time in nearly four decades, cross country runners will wear the blue and orange of SUNY Orange on a competitive basis when the Fall 2016 season arrives, College President Dr. Kristine Young announced Saturday (Nov.7) during the Colt Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The addition of the men’s and women’s cross country programs, which will compete at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III level, brings the College’s intercollegiate athletic roster to nine sports, including women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, softball, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, baseball and golf.
The Fall 2016 season will mark the first time in SUNY Orange history that it has fielded a women’s cross country team, while the origins of the Colts’ men’s cross country program date to the College’s founding in 1950. That program existed through the 1977 season. Restoration of the men’s team rekindles one of the College’s most storied athletic programs.
“It is exciting to be able to offer our current students and future students two additional opportunities to compete at the collegiate level,” said Wayne Smith, SUNY Orange athletic director. “Our men’s cross country program was quite successful throughout much of its history, and we look forward to writing some equally prolific new chapters with that program. On the women’s side, we hope to build a competitive program from the ground up and generate similar results.”
A search will soon begin for coaches to lead both programs. Logistics regarding practice venues and the development of a home course are still being developed.