Luke Montalbano, Sports Writer • email@example.com
There has been a lot of change in the Emory & Henry Cross Country program, including having multiple head coaches in the past four years. However, Buck Kirtland has been around the previous four years for the Wasps.
Kirkland is currently a senior from Richmond, VA. He attended Trinity Episcopal High School in Richmond. While in high school, Kirtland played under head coach Marcus Jones. During his senior season, Kirtland in sixth place at the Prep League Cross Country Championships. His personal best times in high school for 5K was 17:23, and 4:42 for 1600, according to GoWasps.com.
Kirkland entered his freshman year at Emory & Henry during the fall of 2014. Kirkland ran in Emory & Henry’s top seven in five of his first seven meets as a freshman. His best 8k race freshman year came at the Barry College invitational. He finished with a time of 29:49, and placed 114th out of 187 runners. He also represented the Wasps at the ODAC and NCAA South/Southeast Region Cross Country Championship. At ODAC, he put up a time of 31:31, and at nationals he put up a time of 29:13, according to directathletics.com.
Kirtland’s has enjoyed his time as a Wasps, and being a member of the cross country team, as he said “I love the team! They are an extension of my family. It is never a dull moment with them. Whether its eating wings every Sunday, watching sports or getting through a tough workout, we are there for one another. The team has truly been one of the greatest blessings of my life.”
Not only is Kirkland a good runner, he also has excelled in the classroom, being named to the all ODAC academic conference team his first three years as a Wasp, according to GoWasps.com. During his spare time, Kirkland says he likes “to play the guitar. I also love playing and watching basketball. Whether that’s NBA or our Wasps! I also enjoy Football and Hockey.”
Kirkland has yet to win the ODAC championship as a team during his first three years as a Wasp, as him and his team are hoping to win one this year. Kirkland says that “This year I hope to bring excellence into everything I do. I am so fortunate to be here and have so many opportunities. This will be my last chance to utilize what this place has to offer. I am also thankful to be lacing up my spikes one last time. It is an honor to be able to represent Emory in such a competitive conference!”