East Union will soon become the third school in Union County with a track and field program, as the addition was approved for the school during the Union County School Board meeting on Monday night.
East Union principal Ray Kennedy said the addition comes with the continued success of the cross country program and he hopes the sport will provide more athletic opportunities for students at the school.
“The main reason for adding this is to give students more chances to be a part of competitive athletics,” Kennedy said. “There is really no underlying reason, but we see that Myrtle has a successful program, and we would like to try this and see what we can do as well.”
Cross country coach Nathan McLellen will serve as the head coach for the program and will be assisted by Union County football coach Scott Duley. Kennedy said McLellen’s success with cross country is the reason for choosing him to take the reins of track and field.
“We already have a great cross country program in place, thanks to Coach McLellen and his hard work, so we feel that distance running will not be an issue,” Kennedy said. “Coach McLellen is well acquainted with the distance runners and we look for him to guide the team in sprints and hurdles, while Coach Duley is volunteering to help with the field events.”
Kennedy said the school expects to spend no more than $1,000 on the program, and the sport will be funded fully by the school. He also noted that the team can use the newly purchased cross country uniforms and a bulk of the training can take place at East Union, while other options are currently in discussion for training for events, like the long jump and pole vault.
While McLellen and Duley will be the primary coaches, Kennedy said there are also other possible volunteer coaches to be added.