Cross country: Warren East standout England signs with Cumberlands
Warren East senior Jacob England is taking his academic and athletic career to the next level as the Raiders cross country runner and 2016 state champion signed to continue his running career at the University of the Cumberlands on Wednesday afternoon in the Warren East High School cafeteria.
“I don’t think (Cumberlands) knows what they are getting yet,” Warren East boys’ cross country coach Kevin Lashley said. “They can see what you are as an athlete and as a student but not as an individual and a leader.”
“I know that we haven’t ran Jacob into the ground and that he’s going to have his best years in college,” Lady Raiders’ cross country coach Tara Hamilton said. “He’s going to have his best performance, his best times, and I hope that he enjoys it.”
Multiple factors came into play in England ultimately selecting the Patirots, who compete in the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference.
“They have a really strong program right now,” England said. “I was looking to go to a place where I could grow as a runner and develop. It also has a nice small-school feel, which is something I’m going to really enjoy. I like the guys a lot, I like the coach, and everything just seemed to fit right. They have everything I need to be successful so it was really just the right choice for me.”
England won the 2016 state title by running a time of 16:05 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington his junior season, and the longtime Raider runner recorded a personal record of 15:48 on the same course earlier in that year. While not totally looking back on his time as a runner at Warren East—a place that he would like to possibly teach at someday—England is ready to take his athletic abilities to the college ranks.
“High school running has been great, but I’m going from a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a big sea. I’m not going to start out at the front of the pack and I’ll have more people to push me, which will be great. I’m excited to work my way from the bottom, and I think it’s going to be fun.”