25th annual cross country camp set to begin

Destiny Bell, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with quotes from Coach John McInerney


Erin Howarth, head cross country coach, said this year is Eastern’s 25th annual cross country camp.

“Coach John McInerney started the camp in 1992 with 10-15 campers and has expanded it to, some years, as many as 100 campers,” she said.

Coach Mac, as he is called, has not missed a camp. He continues to be the face of the camp and works hard to promote and support the sport of distance running, Howarth said.

John McInerney, camp director said, “Our main goal is to surround these young runners with a large group of coaches, collegiate runners and other passionate distance running people and hopefully see that passion and fire for our sport spread to these young runners just getting to really know the sport,” he said. “We work very hard to make sure the camp is super motivating, fun and positive.”

“Our goal is always to inspire and motivate as many campers as possible by filling them up with so much knowledge and fun that they can’t help but to have the best summer of training to date,” she said.

The Distance Camp and 5k Race is June 21-25 for boys and girls in grades 6-12.

“We like to have the camp fairly early in the summer so that they can use this camp as a jumping board into the next 8-10 weeks of the summer, which always prove to be the most important weeks to ensure the best cross country season,” she said.

According to the online brochure, the camp provides individual attention, access to facilities and informational clinics.

The informational clinics cover a variety of topics including team and skill building training, nutrition, running shoe selection and motivation.

For social activities, campers participate in bowling, swimming and an ice cream social as well.

Campers will run on the Panther Trail at O’Brien Stadium at Fox Ridge State Park and on local city and county running routes.

Registration will be held on June 21 from 1:15-2:15 p.m. in Douglas Hall on Eastern’s campus.

The cost for campers staying overnight is $340 not including meals. The cost for commuters is $185 not including meals. If 5 or more campers are from the same school and submit their applications as a group, they are eligible for a team discount of $15.

“We expect this camp to be no different than the past ones – the best week of the summer for all involved!” Howarth said.

Early submission of application is recommended because the camp size is limited. Registration forms and information is available online.

On Saturday morning, June 25, the Panther Prowl 5k will be run. Family and friends can join camp runners by bringing $10 and a signed waiver to the race, according to the online brochure.

“We run a bunch but we also have very specific teaching and coaching time as well as tons of fun activities. Bowling, camp dance, ultimate frisbee competition, relay races and much more,” McInerney said.


Destiny Bell can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]