HIRAM, Ohio -- The Hiram College Athletic Department has announced the suspension of the men's and women's cross country programs, effective in the fall of 2015.
The announcement to suspend the programs follows an evaluation of all athletic programs. Both the men's and women's cross country programs have faced challenges in recruiting runners and participating in competitions over the past few seasons. With the suspension, each program will become a club sport and students will have opportunity to compete in scheduled events under the direction of Club Advisor and former head cross country coach Earl Kissell.
"This was a very tough decision," said Director of Athletics Ellen Dempsey. "Hiram College does not currently support a track & field program, and without one, it is difficult to successfully recruit students into the cross country program. Most distance runners who participate in a varsity collegiate program prefer to participate in both cross country in the fall and track and field in the spring; therefore, it is difficult for the college to attract many runners who are interested in being members of a cross country team only."
"We value athletics on our campus, as well as the overall health of our students, and seek to offer them all kinds of activities that help them to lead an active and healthly lifestyle," added Dempsey. "We appreciate the leadership and dedication that coach Earl Kissell has given to this program over the years, and we are pleased that he will continue to be available to mentor aspiring distance runners as an advisor of the newly established club sport."
Dempsey said the decision was made to suspend the program at this time, rather than eliminate it completely. "By suspending the program, it allows us the opportunity to reinstate the sport at a later time, if we choose."
With the suspension of both cross country programs, Hiram now offers 14 varsity athletic sports including men's golf, men's soccer, football, men's basketball, baseball, men's lacrosse, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, women's volleyball, women's golf, women's soccer, women's basketball, softball and women's lacrosse.