CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Southern University Cross Country programs and Head Coach Ryan Thompson are pleased to announce the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2009-2010 season.
“The addition of these six student-athletes moves us a step closer to reaching the goal of establishing CSU as a solid distance program within the Big South Conference.,” said Thompson, who just finished his first year at the helm of the distance program. “These student-athletes not only bring athletic success but have also demonstrated their excellence in academics as well. All six come from established high school running programs making their transition to the next level a smooth one.
The newcomers include Shaun Bisson, Matt Smith, Adrienne Cuff, Christina Gallo, Susanna McKee & Hallie Wright.
Adrienne Cuff: From Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill, S.C., Cuff enjoyed an outstanding cross country and track & field career in high school.
Thompson on Cuff:
“Adrienne comes from an outstanding high school distance program and she will be looked upon as a leader for the distance crew as we move into a new era of CSU women’s cross country.”
Cuff's Personal Bests:
800 (2:19), 1600 (5:17) and has a 19:51 in the 5k.
Christina Gallo: From Knoch Senior High School in Cabot, Penn., Gallo is relatively new to the cross country/track & field scene. Growing up she was a competitive swimmer and has now turned her dedication and hard working mentality towards running. In a relatively short time frame Christina was able to drop her 5k time by more than two minutes by the end of her senior season with a 22:00 5k.
Thompson on Gallo:
“Christina is extremely eager and has shown a tremendous amount of dedication towards excelling at the next level. I look forward to watching her mature as a runner.”
Susanna McKee: From Statesboro High School in Statesboro, Ga., was a middle distance standout in high school. She posted a personal best in the 800 meters of 2:21. Susanna will add depth to the cross country roster and lead the middle distance crew on the track.
Thompson on McKee:
“I am confident in and excited about Susanna’s ability to compete at the collegiate level. I feel she has yet to reach her true potential and look forward to working with her over the next few years.”
McKee's Personal Bests:
2:21 (800m), 21:14 in the 5K.
Hallie Wright: from Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill, S.C., was a teammate of Cuff’s and benefited from the tremendous distance coaching at Fort Mill. In high school she demonstrated her versatility by competing in the hurdles as well on the track.
Thompson on Wright:
“Hallie will add some much needed depth to the women’s distance roster. With her distance and hurdling background I look forward to exploring her potential in the steeplechase.”
Wright's Personal Bests:
5:41 (1600m) 21:45 (5k)
All four signees will be put to the test at the Eye Opener Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C., on Sept. 5, 2009.