Camaraderie, Potential to Excel Lure Runners
There is no required skill level to run 3.1 miles – just a willingness to work hard. That's the way Cotton Family Varsity Head Coach Kurtis Smith leads the running programs here at The Summit. The expectation for every athlete is the same, remembering they represent much more than just themselves inside and outside the classroom.
Coach Smith’s cross country teams’ numbers have swelled due to an increase in retention, interest and positive team atmosphere. That retention and interest has helped garner a lot of success. The program has become a local powerhouse.
Since the 2009-2010 season, the boys’ varsity cross country team has won 10 of the last 11 Miami Valley Conference championships. The girls’ varsity team has won nine of the last 11 conference titles. District titles, regional championships and state appearances followed, too.
In 2019, the boys’ team earned the program’s first team state championship.
It was the eighth time in 10 years that the boys’ team has qualified to run at state, and the third time it has reached the podium. The team was runner-up in the race a year ago.
“This program is a dynasty,” Upper School Director Kelly Cronin said.
On the girls’ side, runners have made the trip to the state meet in recent years. Catherine Coldiron '20 finished 24th, the best finish by a Summit girl at the state meet in program history.
Cotton Family Varsity Head Coach Kurtis Smith has coached The Summit’s cross country programs since 2006. Under his direction, the teams’ numbers have swelled due to an increase in retention and interest. That retention and interest has helped garner a lot of success. The program has become a local powerhouse. In addition to his role as head coach, he started the school’s indoor track program and is an assistant track coach. Coach Smith, a 2001 Elder High School graduate, was the first male cross country runner at Mount St. Joseph University. After graduating from the Mount in 2005 with a master’s degree in pastoral counseling and theology, he began teaching theology at The Summit. He is assisted by Kim Horning, Jerry Hilton '91 and Mason T. Moore '15.