HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University women’s cross country head coach Jenna Wrieden has announced the addition of two student-athletes that will compete for the program this fall.
The Panthers welcome incoming freshmen Courtney Kerr (Avon, Ind.) and Janelle Rothacker (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) to the roster for the 2015 campaign.
“Both of these women really embody what our program stands for,” Wrieden said. “They understand what it means to have a blue collar work ethic and are very team driven. Our goal is to leave the program better then when we found it. We want a sustainable program culture that is successful year after year based on the people that influence it over time.
“Courtney and Janelle have a wealth of character to contribute to that idea. These two girls were excited about High Point University since the first time they laid eyes on it. Those are the kind of people you want in your program.”
Kerr earned four varsity letters in cross country and track at Avon High School, where she was a three-time all-section and all-county selection. She also garnered all-Hoosier Crossroads Conference accolades on three occasions and won three individual cross country titles during her impressive career.
Also a stalwart in the classroom, Kerr was a two-time academic all-state selection and a member of the National Honor Society.
“Courtney is truly a diamond in the rough find for our program,” Wrieden said. “She is one of few young people I’ve met who is actually excited about running 25 laps around a track. Again, coming from a strong team background at Avon High School, she will fit right in with our vision of the daily grind, getting better one day at a time and appreciating the process.”
Kerr helped lead her powerhouse Avon program to four Hendricks County, sectional and regional titles as well as the 2014 Hoosier Crossroads Conference Championship. The Orioles earned a bid to the state cross country championship in all four seasons of Kerr’s career and the team posted an ISHAA second-place finish in the state during her senior campaign in 2014.
Kerr holds personal bests of 18:24 (5k) in cross country, 11:17 in the 3200m run and 5:18 in the 1600m run.
Rothacker earned four varsity letters in track and three in cross country at Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School. She was a four-time all-conference selection in track and earned cross country all-conference accolades as a senior in 2014. She was named the New York Section 2 Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2014 and competed in the prestigious Millrose Games (2014) and New Balance Outdoor Nationals (2014, 2015) in the 4x800m relay. Rothacker’s relay team earned top-10 finishes in both of her trips to the New Balance national meet.
She was a member of the National Honor Society and earned her Advanced Regents Diploma at Burnt Hills Ballston Lake.
“Janelle has had experience at the national high school level that will help prepare her for a high level of college competition that we see in this conference and region,” Wrieden said. “She comes from a highly successful high school team and has a solid mid-distance training background. Her speed on the track will be dangerous in cross country. She loves to compete and I’m looking forward to watching her make a statement this fall.”
Rothacker led the Spartans to a pair of sectional titles in both indoor and outdoor track during her junior and senior campaigns, as well as a cross country sectional championship in 2015. The team won the New York Class B Cross Country state title as well in 2014, one of the crowning achievements of the school’s prestigious distance program.
Rothacker holds personal bests of 18:34 (5k) in cross country, 5:02 in the 1600m, 4:37.84 in the 1500m and 2:12.14 in the 800m run.