For the second time in three weeks, an East Richland Christian graduate has announced her intentions to continue her academic and athletic careers at Alderson-Broaddus University in Phillipi, W.Va.
Hannah Surface has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her cross country and track careers with the Battlers' program, which competes in NCAA Division II.
It didn't take Surface long during her visit to A-B to come to the decision that Phillipi was the place for her.
"The people made me feel so welcome there and because of them and Coach Jesse, I feel like A-B is going to be a good for for me," Surface said. "My family is supportive of the decision, which makes me feel all the more comfortable with my choice."
Surface is well aware of the Lady Battlers' tradition in distance running. She's also anxious to get to school and join her cross country teammates. Actually, it'll be the first time in her running career that she's had 'teammates' in cross country as she was the only competitor for the Lady Lions.
"I can only imagine what a privilege that having a team must be," Surface admitted. "It's going to be wonderful to be around fellow distance runners who will enjoy running also."
Surface enjoyed an impressive track season for the Lady Lions. She was an OVAC placer in the 1600 meter run and became the first competitor from ERC to score in a regional meet when she finished eighth.
"Being able to represent East Richland Christian during the OVAC and regional was an honor," Surface admitted. "Without the help of my coach, Adam Mitchell, it wouldn't have been possible. He's been a real God-send to the track and field program at ERC."
Surface had actually had a pretty strong taste of serious distance running because she's already completed a marathon during her young career and convinced her father, Fred, to allow her to do it and then helped her with the training. She's still trying to figure out exactly what made her do that at such a young age.
"Maybe I hit my mid-life crisis at an early age or perhaps I just like having a good challenge," Surface said. "Either way, I was, and still am, exceedingly grateful that my father was supportive of the idea and he was willing to help me achieve such a crazy dream."
As practice quickly approaches for the Battlers' season, Surface is anxious to begin the rugged training process to prepare herself for what's ahead.
"All I can do is give my summer training all my effort and learn from those who are more experienced than me," Surface said. "I don't know exactly what to expect, but I plan on doing my best to be ready for it."
On top of cross country, Surface played volleyball in the fall as well.
Surface was a standout in the classroom at ERC. She carried a 4.2 grade point average en route to graduating with distinguished honors.
Hannah, who plans on majoring in nursing, is the daughter of Fred and Laura Surface.
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