By Pauline Taylor
CCC Journalism Program
After 26 years, Camden County College (CCC) has added co-ed cross-country to its athletic roster and the new team has proven to be fierce in both academics and athletics.
Terry Damminger, the athletics coordinator who coaches the co-ed team and said, “Dr. Peter DiLorenzo, director of athletics, was instrumental in bringing this sport back to CCC and Ray Negron, student athlete who place first in the males category, got the team off the ground.”
“The team collectively has the highest GPA of all the sports team at CCC;,” said Damminger.
Damminger also teaches at CCC and she stays abreast of the runner’s performance inside and outside of the classroom because there are disciplinary penalties and disqualifications when team expectations go unfulfilled.
Damminger said, “I am only as strong as the team and I regard the student’s personal achievements more rewarding than a win because they all add up to the team’s win.”
The coach’s face lit up like a proud mom when she explained the personal success stories on and off the track.
Felecia Macauley, a second year criminal justice major, member of CCC’s women’s basketball and cross-country teams is the epitome of one of the team’s personal achievement stories that Damminger shared.
The Damminger/Macauley meet was an actual happenstance. , “I came to basketball practice one day and it was cancelled and I ran into Coach, and she talked me into running. I never thought I would be running except up and down the court,” Macauley said.
As a result of training, Macauley has lost 55 pounds and a total of eight dress sizes. Macauley is running in multiple races and is able to run 10 miles non-stop.
She said, “I still played basketball and was able to start in every game this season, cross-country has improved my performance on the court, I was able to play other positions designed for smaller people. Thanks to cross-country I was able to run for longer periods of time and much faster; I was always the first one down the court.”
Macauley received the CCC’s Women of the Year 2012-2013 title and was recognized in January of this year at Seaton University. As a first-generation college student, she plans to transfer to a four-year university to continue her education and, “wants to leave a legacy of helping others better themselves, the Good Samaritan,” said Macauley.
Damminger said, “Macauley leads by example, she is a great competitor who always puts her best foot forward, I am lucky to have had the opportunity to make a runner out of her.”
Damminger also said, “ Cross-Country is my love and I am very excited and looking forward to next year’s cross-country season, a lot of students are returning and I have great recruiting opportunities lined up for next year.”
The men’s team was third runner up out of 15 teams and the women came in fourthout of 14 teams that competed in the region.