CORNING - After a 17-year hiatus, the Corning Community College Cross Country team will be reinstated starting this fall and will be led by Dr. Matthew Skerritt and alum Rebecca Copp.

Dr. Skerritt will coach the men's cross-country team this coming fall after being a Faculty REF for the Men's Soccer team. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology for the college with extensive experience in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics, and anatomy and physiology.

Rebecca Copp will be coaching the women’s side. Copp is the most decorated and accomplished cross-country runner in the history of Corning Community College.

As a runner, Copp earned each of  the following designations two times in her Corning CC career: Cross-Country NJCAA All-American, MSAC Cross-Country Champion, MSAC Runner of the Year, MSAC All-Conference Team, and Region III All-Region team member.

After Corning, she earned a scholarship at Felician College (NJ) where she went on to earn a Bachelor's in Biology. Copp is also a member of the Corning-Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame, class of 2006. She currently works at the college in the Learning Commons as a Science Learning Specialist.

Skerritt is happy to have the sport back up on Spencer Hill.

“It's great to have cross country back at SUNY Corning Community College,” said Skerrittt. “We are fortunate that some newer members to the senior leadership team on campus recognized the value in re-establishing the sport and with a receptive and supportive President, it went forward this past semester.”

Skerritt and Copp will benefit from having one of the most successful sports in the area right down the hill at Corning-Painted Post High School, which could jumpstart the program as well other other local schools.

“This area in general has a lot of running talent at the high school level,” Skerritt said. “We are excited to once again be a part of the conversation about where those students can pursue their academic and athletic goals after they graduate. Students no longer necessarily have to look beyond the area.”

The Red Barons will compete in the Mid-State Conference and Region III of the NJCAA for the first time since 2001, where Copp went to nationals for the women's team in the final year of competition.