What will Parkland College have to do to get the women’s cross-country program back up and running?
Parkland had women’s cross-country back in the day, but since it was removed in 2000, the program will essentially be starting from scratch.
Mike Trame, vice president for student services, said the school decided to bring the sport back because the student body has evolved over time to include slightly more female students than male.
“This prompted us to look at options to provide athletic opportunities that were proportional to the makeup of our students,” Trame said. “Cross-country quickly rose to the top of the list due to the team size, facility needs and popularity within the district.”
The decision was approved by Parkland’s board of trustees Oct. 18, but there are still a lot of things that need to be done before the team gets up and running.
For one thing, they’ll need a coach.
Athletic director Brendan McHale said that once they’ve hired a coach and the schedule is finalized, Parkland will be able to build a final budget. Right now, the approximate budget is around $50,000, including staffing, entry fees, uniforms, equipment and travel.
McHale isn’t sure yet about practice venues — he wants the coach to have a hand in choosing them — but he isn’t worried about finding a place.
“Champaign-Urbana contains a thriving running community with no shortage of options for providing varied and challenging training opportunities,” McHale said.
As for getting on the roster for meets, that’s easy: Parkland has already registered with the National Junior College Athletic Association for fall 2024 and plans to do the same with the Midwest Athletic Conference.