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For release: 14 November, 2019
Harford Community College held its first Fighting Owls Celebration Week with a week-long series of activities that highlighted the College's tremendous athletic programming and facilities.
The week kicked off with the NJCAA Region 20 men's and women's soccer tournaments, which HCC hosted. The Harford men's soccer team performed particularly well, falling to the eventual Region 20 champion in the tournament semifinals. Community College of Baltimore Essex came out on top for both the men’s and women’s brackets.
On November 1, the Harford Community College Foundation welcomed more than 300 runners for its first Screech's Night Owl 5K, an evening glow run on the College's campus.
Presented by APG Federal Credit Union, the event was a partnership between the Foundation and HCC Athletics to raise needed scholarship support for student athletes. The event's focus on raising scholarship dollars to support their academic excellence is a testament to each student's commitment to education as well as athletic distinction.
Top overall finisher Alexander Kirkland of Bel Air completed the race with a time of 16:49. Pam Wheeler of Bel Air took first place in the female group, finishing with a time of 19:41. All top finishers received medals as well as gift cards courtesy of True Cycling Studio in Bel Air and Dick's Sporting Goods.
The brand new 5K route took participants through the Harford Sports Complex and included a lap around the Fighting Owls' baseball field under the stadium lights.
County Executive Barry Glassman welcomed the glow stick-clad crowd ahead of the run, and Estevan Vasquez, athletic director at HCC, started the race with the help of Fighting Owls mascot, Screech. Student athletes lined the start and finish lines to cheer on every participant as they completed the race, including Aberdeen IronBirds mascot Ferrous, who completed in a time of 42 minutes.
Pre-race activities and the award ceremony took place in the APGFCU Arena, the College's premier athletic and event venue. A new annual tradition, Screech's Night Owl 5K looks to grow into a community-favorite event each fall.
Sponsor support for Screech's Night Owl 5K included Presenting Sponsor: APG Federal Credit Union; Mile Marker Sponsor: Aberdeen IronBirds; Finish Line Sponsor: ZemaCryo; #1 Fan Sponsors: Ashley Addiction Treatment Centers, Bel Air Athletic Club, Harford County Government, Shaffer McLauchlin & Stover, LLC; and Fighting Owls Sponsors: Crabby Axe Throwing; MediaWise, Inc.; Orangetheory Fitness Bel Air.
Finishing out the week was the Athletic Hall of Fame Celebration on November 2. The celebration was particularly special this year, as it included the unveiling of the Athletic Hall of Fame sign, the induction of the class of 2019, and the presentation of the 2019 NJCAA women's lacrosse national championship rings.
"It is only fitting that we have this new permanent recognition piece for the campus and the community to pay tribute to the success of its [Hall of Fame] members," said Vasquez of the new Athletic Hall of Fame sign.
In attendance to help with the unveiling were current hall of fame members – Bonnie Fry (class of 1992); Charles Johnson and David Westervelt (class of 1993); John Haggerty and Jack Nichols (class of 2014); Tom Smith (class of 2017); and Lisa Still (class of 2018).
The Hall of Fame class of 2019 included Kate Bohlen and Joe Harbach. Bohlen, described as "the greatest doubles player in Harford's history" by her former tennis coach George Budelis, was a regional champion for women's singles and doubles tennis. Tom Eller, hitting coach for the Aberdeen IronBirds and former head coach of the HCC baseball team, considered Harbach "a great player and a great teammate" who was a record-setting hitter and pitcher.
The women's lacrosse team was honored for their 2019 NJCAA national championship win with the presentation of their championship rings. The team's motto, "Trust the Process," is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the women to reach this level. The team finished 2019 with a 14-1 record, the best in program history. In addition, five Fighting Owls were named NJCAA All-Americans.
HCC has a long history of rich athletic programming. The College currently sponsors 13 varsity sports that compete at the Division I level. Recent successes have included 23 Maryland JUCO Conference Titles; 21 NJCAA Region 20 Titles; 5 NJCAA District Titles; and 2 NJCAA National Championships. In all, 96 Fighting Owls have earned an All-American Award. HCC student-athletes also succeed in the classroom with 163 named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll during the 2018-19 academic year.
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