Monroe has a promising start to the cross country season

There are some new faces on the Monroe College cross-country roster. This year marks a change as longtime cross country head coach Shirvon Greene, who was associate head coach for track and field, is now in charge of both programs. Cross country started its season last week at the Jaspers XC Invitational, hosted by Manhattan College. Aaliyah Headley was the best of the Mustangs.

Monroe typically has a roster of local and international student-athletes. Unfortunately, two overseas riders who were due to join the team this season were unable to get visa appointments in a timely manner, so a few appointments have been added.

These extras are qualified track athletes from the Bronx campus of Monroe. Monroe joined the track and field and cross country programs from her Bronx campus and the New Rochelle campus with Greene overseeing both and new assistant coaches added. “After realizing I wasn’t going to have top runners, I moved them to cross country,” Greene said. “It’s the first time they’ve done it to help the team.”

Headley, of Guyana, and Kayla Johnson, of Port Jervis, New York, are expected to be the hottest runners. Johnson is typically a middle-distance runner, competing in the 800 and 1,500 meters. “Kayla Johnson went to the Junior Olympics,” Greene said. “She ran for a club in the Bronx, and her coach recommended she go to Monroe.”

Growing up, Headley trained with the same coach and at the same club as previous Monroe standouts Aaliyah Moore, who is now a student-athlete at the University of Kansas, and Joanna Archer, now at Texas Tech. “[Aaliyah] is more of a 5k and 10k runner, Greene said.

Most cross country seasons see riders compete in six or seven regular season meets, but this year will be a bit shorter. Next up for them is the Golden Eagles Invitational hosted by St. Joseph’s College on September 30. they have to qualify for the latter), Greene said.

Developing cross-country potential is exciting. “I can see raw talent,” Greene said. ” It starts again ; we get to mold them. … Hopefully they can rank in the region and we can reward them with a trip to the Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida in November. We have to get them through these four games unscathed and ready to go.

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