Karly Wade accepts the Head Coach position of BCC’s cross-country team

Written by: Susanna Pehrson
In mid April, a few days before Karly Wade was supposed to run Boston Marathon, her kneecap broke in three pieces. A runners nightmare, but Wade says with a smile that it was better it happened in Seattle than in Boston. A long scar and a slightly swollen knee still keep her from running, but not from starting up the season for BCC’s cross-country team, being appointed the new head of the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Program. Optimism is a good way to start when describing Wade, who replaced Jenn Marsh in beginning July. “I’m a pretty enthusiastic and high energy person,” says Wade, whose goal is to bring back BCC’s cross-country team to the heights of the early 80’s, a time when the team was very successful. Wade is not a new face to the BCC community. She served as an assistant coach in the fall of 2006, as part of an internship for the University of Washington’s Masters of Education in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership program. She completed the program and earned her degree in June of 2007. “I’m really excited,” said BCC Athletic Director Bill O’Connor, about Wade being appointed the new coach. “She will be a great addition to our sport section.” Before coming to BCC, Wade coached both middle school and high school cross-country teams. She explains how community college cross-country has a more divided field of runners than high school, with students of no experience as well as the opposite. “It is fun to figure out who they are and what they can do,” says Wade and gives the example of a girl in her Indiana high school team who went to a state meet, did well despite low expectations, and how she is now running for a division one school. BCC has no track team, but Wade considers changing that. She knows of some interested students and says it would also be a mean to keep the cross-country runners training through the winter. A cross-country team needs at least five runners to score, and number five and six are tiebreakers. BCC’s men’s team has seven runners, while the women’s team only has three runners to current date. “We need more girls,” says Wade. “Write that. We still got scholarships available.” She says there are several good recruits this year, but that a student does not need previous experience to become part of the team. Personally, she started to run in high school. Her experience includes many good coaches, and she loves what she is doing. “I love to run, and it feels kind of empty when the season stops once you’ve been part of a cross-country team. I just want to be part of it as long as possible,” she admits. As an overall goal, Wade is looking forward to help the students-athletes of BCC develop a sense for the greater running community, as well as teaching lifelong competitive skills through intercollegiate competition. “I will be around for a while,” she jokes and finishes saying she is very happy to be where she is.