After cancelling cross country and track and field during the 2020–21 school year due to the pandemic, the student-athletes of Monroe College are on campus, training hard and getting into the competitive groove. Although Monroe is a four-year college, the athletic programs are two years and compete against two-year institutions. The freshmen from the 2019–20 year have moved onto four-year institutions, so coach Shirvon Greene is starting with a new group of athletes.

“Throughout the pandemic, we were still continuing the recruiting process,” said Greene, head coach for women’s and men’s cross country and associate head coach for track and field. “For me, I knew it was going to be a hard task because they would be away from the school for a year as well as the restrictions from their countries. It was a bit challenging to build this current team.”

As in past, the rosters are quite international. There are five women competing in cross country. Two are locals—one from White Plains and one from New Rochelle—and the other three young women come from Kenya, South Africa and Guyana. Training started in mid-August.

“The good part of it was they were training when they were back home,” said Greene. “With COVID restrictions, they did as much as they could. When they got here, it was difficult for the first couple of weeks, but we’re using the competition season to get into real shape.”

Both the women’s and men’s squads have run personal bests, and Greene was pleased with their efforts at the recent Highlander XC Challenge at New Jersey Institute of Technology. All the athletes will compete in track and field.

Greene not only spent last year recruiting, but also honing his coaching skills. He studied the performances of his past athletes. “Trying to find a way to incorporate the past and the current programs,” said Greene.

To stay in shape, Greene runs with the team, but he has put his competitive days behind him. “The purpose now is to get them to the next level,” said Greene. “Cross country is the foundation, is the base for what they want to accomplish for indoor and outdoor track.”