PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Vinemont’s Harbison signs with Wallace State

Kendall Harbison (middle) is joined by family and coaches at Vinemont High School Wednesday as she signs her letter of intent to run at Wallace State. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – Wednesday was a special day for one Eagle standout at Vinemont High School. Vinemont’s Kendall Harbison was joined by family, friends and coaches in the library Wednesday to sign to continue her cross-country career with the Wallace State Lions and Head Coach Stan Narewski.

Eagles Head Coach Blaise Carie has worked with Kendall for most of her high school career and what he sees that sets her apart from most high school runners is her willingness to work.

“I’ve had her about three years now and I’m really focused on attitude, so she’s been really good at staying motivated, wanting to go on extra runs and that’s really what I like to see from her,” Carie said. “If she’s motivated to do that then she’ll be motivated on her own to work hard in college and even after college in whatever endeavors that she has. She’s just enjoyed it and running is something you can do lifelong for the most part.”

Carie will miss Harbison’s production as a runner next year but more than that, he’ll miss having her attitude and personality on the team. He’s happy that she’ll be competing close by at a great program.

“She’s fun to have on the team. At some of our meets she’s been the only girl runner and it can be tough to stay motivated that way but she’s fine. She’ll go run with the guys and get better, the guys will cut up with her and she’ll cut up with them, so I like her as a runner, but I really like her as a student and a person too,” Carie said. “She’s just fun to be around and that makes it tough to see her leave but she’s close by, so I’ll get to watch her run hopefully and she’s in good hands. Coach (Stan) Narewski wants to see his kids succeed but cares about them as people as well.”

Kendall has been on Wallace State’s radar for a few years, so she’s had a chance to get to know the coaches and the program at Wallace in that time.

“They talked to me when I was a freshman and with these colleges looking at me, I figured I should look into it. They’ve followed me throughout my freshman year all the way through my senior year and I thought, ‘I really like this college’,” Harbison said. “I knew some of the people on the team and some of them were my friends from past years of running and I knew I really wanted to go there.”

Kendall still has one more season of track in front of her at Vinemont before she graduates in May but she’s also looking forward to getting her collegiate career underway. Harbison knows that she’ll miss her time at Vinemont and the people she’s gotten to know there and hopes she’ll get a chance to compete with or against them again in the future.

“I’m going to miss some of the local runners I’ve been running with and against since seventh grade. So, that’s going to be hard on me and I hope I get to race against them in the future,” Harbison said. “I’m really going to miss the people here and my teammates that I ran with and I’m really going to miss Coach Carie. He’s motivated me throughout his whole time here and I’m really thankful for him.”

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