Bulldogs Announce Track and Field Recruiting Class

June 21, 2011
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Courtesy: UNC Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville Cross Country & Track and Field head coach Jesse Norman has announced the signing of six student-athletes to national letters-of-intent for the 2011-12 academic year.

"This class on both the men and women's side, while small, gives us some incredible fire power to further develop our squads here at UNC Asheville," declared Norman. "With this class, our coaching staff's focus was getting student-athletes that would be able to come in and be impact student-athletes for our programs.  I believe as though we have done a good job accomplishing that goal. We are looking forward to developing these student-athletes into contenders in the Big South Conference."

The Bulldogs will have four newcomers on the men's squad with two on the women's side.

The four men signees include John Bellard, Cameron Howard, Aaron Martin and Kevin Paradise. The women's signees are Kasey Briggs and Adrian Etheridge. Here is a look at each one of the signees.

John Bellard is a jumper from Providence HS in Charlotte. He excelled in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. His personal bests in each category were 6-2 (high jump), 21.5 (long jump) and 43-2 (triple jump).

"John will help to bolster our jumping program here at UNC Asheville and gives the school its first all-around jumper," stated Norman. He is an athlete who has untapped potential and will hopefully be able to develop into an outstanding jumper in the Big South Conference."

Cameron Howard is a native of Houston and a transfer from the University of Texas-San Antonio. He is a high jumper who has a personal best of 6-6 in the high jump.

"Cameron will give us a presence in the high jump the next two years," stated Norman. "We believe he can develop into a top scorer within the Big South Conference."

Aaron Martin is a distance runner from Nashua South HS in Nashua, New Hampshire. His PR's are 1:57 in the 800 meters, 4:17 in the 1600 meters, 9:51 in the 3200 meters and 16:07 in the 5K in cross country.

"Aaron is one of the most exciting recruits to come to UNC Asheville," commented Norman. ".  His mile time elevates him to one of the fastest recruits ever by UNC Asheville and will make him an immediate impact athlete within the Big South Conference.  He has only been a distance runner for a few years and has the potential to become one of UNC Asheville's most decorated student-athletes."

The final men's signee is distance runner Kevin Paradise of Medina HS in Medina, Ohio. His PR's are 4:34 in the 1600 meters, 9:37 in the 3200 meters and 15:46 in the 5K in cross country.

"Kevin comes our way from Medina High School where he was a teammate of current Bulldogs, Sam Maynard and Kent Rankin," said Norman. H will come in and give us an up-front presence within the Big South Conference during cross country and the longer distance races during the indoor and outdoor seasons.  Kevin, along with Aaron Martin, will help to further elevate the distance program here at UNC Asheville."

Briggs is a distance runner from Athens Drive HS in Raleigh. She has posted a PR of 5:25 in the 1600 meters, 11:20 in the 3200 meters and 19:11 in the 5K in cross country.

"Kasey comes to the mountains from Athens Drive High School where she was a standout distance runner," explained Norman. "She will add more depth to the distance squad will be looked at to help give UNC Asheville more of an up-front presence within the Big South Conference.  Kasey is someone who has been the lone distance runner at her high school and will truly blossom into an incredible student-athlete after joining our program."

Etheridge is a distance runner from Oak Ridge HS in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Her PR times consist of 2:24 in the 800 meters, 5:18 in the 1600 meters and 18:33 in the 5K in cross country. She's be reunited with former teammate Melanie Kulesz with the Bulldogs.

"Adrian has enjoyed a successful career at Oak Ridge," declared Norman "She will help build our distance program. Her current PR in the 3200 (11:02) makes her the fastest recruit to commit to UNC Asheville. Adrian will be looked at to add some up-front presence with Emma Bussard and Melanie Kulesz."


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