By JP Widner
Dublin- Leslie Hunt Mongan has been named the Pulaski County High School’s Lady Cougar Cross Country Coach for 2013. Along with coaching, Mongan will teach Spanish at PCHS.
The Alabama native had a stellar career in long distance running before arriving in Virginia. Between her 8th-12th grade years in high school, Mongan qualified for state competition in every year. She earned All-State Honors in 2002 as she captained the Austin High School cross country team to the 6A State Championship and she finished 13th overall as an individual (20:38 5K). She went on to run for NCAA Division I Auburn University for 2 ½ years and had a personal best 19:30 5K.
Her educational accomplishments include a BS in Physical Education (Auburn University), a BA in Spanish (Auburn University) and a MAEd in English as a Second Language (University of Alabama at Birmingham).
Most recently, the new Cougar leader coached cross-country and tennis the past 2 ½ years at Decatur High School in Alabama where her tennis team competed at the state championships.
Members of the 2013 Lady Cougars as of press time are:
Ella Reeves, a junior, has been a very competitive athlete in cross country where she qualified for the state meet as a freshman. Her sophomore season was hampered by a foot injury.
Emily Llaneres, a sophomore, is a virtual newcomer to cross country but had some strong track seasons under her belt. She has a lot of natural speed which will help the girls propel themselves to a sectional qualifier.
Riley Chitwood, a junior, is looking to have a big year as she has put in a solid summer and looks to improve upon her personal best of 22:17 from her freshman year.
Erin Hamric was the lone senior of this group until just recently. She is mainly a middle distance expert but is splitting time with volleyball to better prepare herself for the upcoming track seasons.
Mikayla Cox is the lone freshman of the group and is expected to make a positive impact immediately. She has worked all summer and has made huge jumps in her training.
Meredith Smith, a senior, returns to PCHS after spending two years in Sweden and playing soccer. This will be her first cross-country season.
The Lady Cougars will compete in the Christiansburg Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, September 7.