FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University men’s cross country coach Mark Bluman has announced the signing of four freshmen runners for the 2011 season: Justin Carter of Piedmont, Josh Jennings of Sumter, Justin Koehn of Norwalk, Ohio, and Cody McDonald of Martinsburg, W.V.
Carter, 5-8, is a product of Woodmont High School, where he ran for coach Tony Williams. As a senior, he compiled a personal-best time of 17:34 at the Greenville County meet and placed 30th at the AAAA Upper State meet in a time of 17:43.
Jennings, 6-0, is a graduate of Wilson Hall Academy where he ran for coach Tom O’Hare, a Francis Marion graduate. While helping his squad to a 71-14 record and a third-place finish at the 2010 SCISA 3A state meet, he was named his region’s 2010 Runner of the Year. He is a former All-State performer as well. His personal-best time this past season for 5,000-meters was 17:43. He was also an All-State performer in track and was part of four state championship squads at Wilson Hall, in addition to helping set state records in both the 4x800 and 4x400-meter relays.
Koehn, 5-7, is a product of Norwalk High School where he ran for coach Drew Karnehm. He owns a career-best time of 16:53 and is a two-time first-team All-NOL runner and a two-time regional qualifier. He twice earned his squad’s most valuable player award.
McDonald, 6-2, is a graduate of Musselman High School. He placed 16th at the AAA state meet last fall in a time of 17:00. He posted a personal-best time of 16:44 while finishing second at the 2010 Berkeley County Championships.
“All four of these young men are very hard workers,” said Bluman. “Justin Carter is a dedicated runner with a bright future who will add depth to our squad. Josh comes from a solid local cross country program and will be a very good ambassador for our university both on and off the course. Justin Koehn continues our Ohio pipeline for runners and he will push the four returning veterans. Cody owns his school’s record for the mile, loves running, and has improved his times immensely over the past four years.
“These runners along with our four returnees should comprise a very competitive squad for the fall.”
Francis Marion lost two seniors from its 2010 squad that placed eighth at the Peach Belt Conference Championship Meet and 25th at the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Meet.