Stinson accepts scholarship from Alabama-Huntsville

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

Feb. 8, 2008 - COMO - After a four year track and cross country career at Como-Pickton High School, senior Bethanie Stinson made her college plans official on Thursday as part of National Signing Day.

Stinson will be running track and cross country for Gulf South Conference member University of Alabama in Huntsville, an NCAA Div. II-program ranked in the top 25 nationally in cross country.

"The program is a pretty good one," Stinson said. "They are ranked in the top 25 in the nation and all of the runners are doing pretty good this year. They run about the same times that I run or are a little bit better than me.

"The coach has been there for almost 20 years now, so he seems like he is going to stay there for a while. I won't have to worry about changing coaches constantly."

The Chargers will be getting a runner that has made it to the UIL State Cross Country Meet all four years and finished 29th during her senior year in a time of 13:07.45. In track and field, Stinson has also qualified for the state track meet her previous three years and will be vying for another trip this season.

"I am proud of how she has done with her running, and she started running when she was in the seventh grade," said CPHS head coach and father Tim Butts. "She has done well at the regional and state level. This is her payoff for all of her hard work."

UAH coach David Cain told Stinson she would probably be running the 1,500-meters in track as well as cross country.

"I will be doing both, and they have not specifically told me what I would be running," she said. "I think I might be doing the mile in track, and they are young with several freshmen and they range in all different ages."

Stinson plans on majoring in elementary education at UAH, which is centered in a town of 225,000 people and has an enrollment of 7,200.

Butts said he knew Bethanie would be in good hands as a member of the Chargers program.

"When we met head coach David Cain he was a very personable man, and seems like he will take really good care of all of the runners," the coach said. "When Bethanie talked to the other runners, they seemed to have a good relationship and liking to Coach Cain.

"He spent an hour-and-a-half going over how he does his runners, and some of the things that he does are similar to what we are doing or some are a little more advanced."

With only the track season remaining, Tim said seeing his daughter advance to the next level is a special thing for him and it will be a tough to see her go this fall.

"We are concerned with the 10-hour drive and we wanted her closer, but that was a tough thing for us to see," he said. "We believe she will be going into a really good program with some good runners and a good coach."

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