Austin College discontinues cross-country/distance track program

Herald Democrat

Austin College will discontinue its varsity cross country/distance track program at the end of the current academic year, the College has announced.

"Upon analysis of all the data, it became apparent that the College is, in effect, carrying a program that has repeatedly fallen short of minimal participation requirements for NCAA Division III sports sponsorship at a varsity sport level," Austin College President Steven O'Day said. "While this reality is disappointing, we owe it to the College and our students to dedicate our resources in the best ways possible."

The cross-country program was revived starting with the 2012 season and distance track was added a couple of years after that. The cross-country rosters for the 2020-21 season included just three runners in the women's program and seven in the men's program. Nine of those 10 athletes also comprised the distance track roster for the 2021 season.

"We are proud of our effort to try something new six years ago, our resolve to give it the opportunity to grow, and our courage to sunset it when it proved to be unsustainable," Director of Athletics David Norman said. "If, in the future, students wish to participate in this sport activity, they will be encouraged to apply for club status like other student clubs and organizations at Austin College."