By Marie Vassey
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – John Vu, Camden County College sophomore, is the captain of the CCC cross country team, a member of the student athletic committee, a full-time student and a part-time employee at Urban Outfitters. Even with such a packed schedule, Vu has missed only one cross country practice in the last five months. To call Vu dedicated would be an understatement.
“No drug or alcohol can replace the natural high from working hard,” says Vu, who recently competed at the Collegiate DIII XC National Championship Race in Massachusetts.
Vu’s passion for cross country and bettering his team is undeniable. After being deemed a good leader by Coach Terry Visale-Damminger and voted for by his teammates, Vu was elected captain of the team. He also was the team’s number one runner this season.
Assistant Coach Wayne Merkh says, “John has been a true asset to the Camden County cross country program. The team, in its second year, is just getting established and gaining credibility. John has helped to set the example and the tone for other athletes on the team and for the future.”
CCC is creating a student athletic committee in which standout students of each sport are elected to represent their teams. Vu was chosen to represent CCC’s cross country team. Vu says he agreed to join because he has a message to send: “Sports can help you become a better student. They also help you learn to balance your schedule.” More importantly, Vu says he joined the committee to “get out of the stereotype given to college athletes.”
Vu points out many college athletes become academically ineligible for sports because they’re not focused. He says, “You’re a student first and an athlete second.”
Even though he chooses to work out and train year-round, whether it’s with the soccer or baseball team, Vu’s sense of dedication is not devoted solely to sports. He is equally as dedicated to bettering himself as a student.
Vu says his greatest academic accomplishment so far at CCC was passing statistics, a more difficult class he chose to take instead of the basic math for liberal arts course the advisers suggested, last semester.
Vu’s future is looking bright. Coaches from numerous universities have taken an interest in Vu’s abilities both as a runner and as a student.