The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

New cross country coach aims higher, plans for the future

The new cross country coach, Heidi Pinkerton ()
The new cross country coach, Heidi Pinkerton ()

The future looks bright for the Guilford men’s and women’s cross country teams, thanks to a passionate new head coach. Heidi Pinkerton, originally from Wilkesboro, N.C., took over the cross country coaching position this year, and has already made a big impression on the team.

“Heidi has stepped into this position with grace and will be a great asset to the Guilford cross country program,” junior runner Rachel Dede said.

Pinkerton has been involved in cross country since her freshman year of high school and continued to run for four years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Two years ago, Pinkerton began her first coaching job at Greensboro College as an assistant coach. The team was quite successful and one runner received an all-regional award.

“After I helped with Greensboro College, I knew coaching was what I wanted to do,” says Pinkerton. “I love the sport.”

Her experience with cross country, both as a runner and coach assists her in understanding what her teams need, and also helps her connect with her runners.

“Heidi loves to run, which is what cross country coaches should be like,” Dede said. “With her energy and enthusiasm I believe the Guilford cross country team can be even more competitive.”

Pinkerton says she chose Guilford because it is a great, local school with well-knitted and welcoming students. This year, she hopes to keep all the runners involved and remain a competitive team.

Last year, the women’s and men’s team placed sixth and seventh in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Pinkerton aims to improve this by placing into the top five of the ODAC this year.

For the women’s team, Pinkerton would like to see her top five runners run five kilometers in 22 minutes or under. Pinkerton is aiming for eight kilometers in less than 31 minutes for the men’s.

The team has already witnessed improvements this year. At the Blue Marlin Invitational in Virginia Beach, Va., last Saturday, Chad Currin lowered his personal best time in the eight kilometer race by 57 seconds.

While cross country is an individual sport, Pinkerton recognizes that everyone must work together in order to be truly successful.

“We have some great kids this year. They work really hard for the team,” says Pinkerton. “Being a head coach is new to me, and some of the older, more experienced runners are helping out a lot.”

Next year, Pinkerton and assistant coach Bill Cason hope to host a cross country meet on campus with high school and college teams. They would like the other schools to compete at Guilford and see the beautiful campus.

In the long term, Pinkerton wants to rank well in the preseason polls and be recognized in the ODAC as a serious, competitive team.

“I want to raise the bar, but still have fun,” said Pinkerton.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *