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CCCC signs first cross country athlete

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Click to enlarge,  Andrew Giermak, The Sanford Herald. Southern Lee senior Brent Holder, second from right, signed to run cross country at and attend Central Carolina Community College. With Brent is, from left, CCCC head coach Jacob Ashworth, his parents Travis and Linda Holder, and Southern Lee head coach Robin Showalter.

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Andrew Giermak, The Sanford Herald. Southern Lee senior Brent Holder, second from right, signed to ... (more)

11.08.2017College & CommunityCollege GeneralSports

By Andrew Giermak, The Sanford Herald

SANFORD - Southern Lee senior cross country runner Brent Holder celebrated a big day Thursday afternoon (11/2/17), signing to attend and run cross country at Central Carolina Community College. It was a unique day for CCCC cross country, too.

Holder is the first student-athlete to join CCCC's new cross country program and new Cougar head coach Jacob Ashworth was on hand in Southern Lee's library to welcome his first recruit. The Cougars will run their debut season in fall 2018.

"When I was asked to begin building a program at CCCC," said Ashworth, who coached cross country and track and field at Lee County High School for three years and founded the Lee County Track Club, "the first runner I thought of was Brent. So I'm really glad to have him and to build a program around him."

Holder is a four-year Cavalier athlete, starting out as a long-distance track runner as a freshman, then picking up cross country as a sophomore.

Southern Lee head coach Robin Showalter said why any coach would want Holder on their team.

"Brent's always doing what he's supposed to do," said Showalter. "He's a great kid. He's always a coachable kid, a great teammate, and always does what he's asked."

Holder thanked his past coach and new collegiate coach after making the paperwork official.

"(Showalter) is the best cross country coach we've ever had. Give her a round of applause," said Holder.

"Thank you to coach Ashworth for putting all of this together," he said.

The new part of CCCC's athletic program will offer runners the ability to compete at the college level while pursuing their associate degrees.

Holder wants to study automotive mechanics, following in the footsteps of his grandfather.

"The opportunity to build the program from the ground up is the most interesting and exciting aspect of coaching CCCC," said Ashworth. "I will be able to continue to share my love of the sport while implementing the tradition that is often times associated with a cross country team."

Ashworth said he wants athletes who expect to put in hard work and dedication. He wants to aide his athletes in more than just their sport.

"I am going to make sure that my athletes have every resource they need to be successful both on the course and in the classroom," Ashworth said. "Any student willing to commit to the team can be assured that I will commit myself to making sure they are successful."