Craig Penney | Head Coach | Cross Country – Track and Field | Wittenberg University

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

I look for prospects that have drive, determination and willingness to accept a challenge. I look at academic performance and the quality of the courses they have taken and the academic standard of the academic program at that high school. They need to be able to handle a high level of academic challenges, to excel in the classroom and on the athletic field.  Self motivated.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

A distance runner with marginal talent but a strong work ethic in the classroom and on the athletic field. We developed a strong bond of understanding the expectations. I understood her desire to be the best student and to excel on the athletic arena. We worked collaborative on developing her running skills. She was a 19:50 5000 meter high school runner, through training and working together she ran 18:11 and won the conference 10,000 beating the #7 runner in the country division III at the time, it was the was amazing race. She was in tears prior to the race, worried she would fail.  I talked her through the race and for her to believe in her preparation and execute the plan. IT worked.

She is at graduate school studying Prenatal nursing and ran her first marathon in 2:59.44.

A solid student athlete.