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West runner signs with Lenoir-Rhyne

Last Wednesday, West Stanly senior standout runner Pierson McManus signed her national letter of intent to continue her running career at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

McManus became the third Colt distance runner to sign this season following teammates Maddie Miller (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Brooklyn Simpson (Wingate).

She also becomes the sixth Colt distance runner to sign in the last three years, and the second in her own family following her sister Lefler (UNC-Greensboro) in 2017.

“Pierson along with Maddie and Brooklyn will be so missed, not only do we lose three of our four best runners, but we lose three leaders. Pierson has been a quiet but genuine leader. She cared so much about her teammates and was a great encourager,” West head coach Chad Horn said.

When asked about the recruitment process McManus said it was “great, every school I visited I loved. All the teams were welcoming and the coaches were super nice.”

She thought she would never go to a small school but added “when I stepped foot on L-R’s campus it was different. Everyone was so welcoming and kind that I automatically felt part of the team and I have no doubt that next year will be great year.”

In terms of running goals for college, McManus said she hopes to “break 20 minutes for a 5K in cross country, 5:30 in the mile and 12 minutes for two miles in track, but most of all I hope to help the team.”

McManus adde her favorite memories are connected with the cross-country and track teams “especially during cross country, the fun nights at pasta parties, running in the rain and jumping in the lake after a long run.”

She added she will “miss all the sports in high school, the cross country meets, the basketball and football games. I loved being in the student section with all my friends to cheer on our teams.”

McManus will leave West Stanly as the third fastest woman cross country runner in the history of the school.

With the two months left in the track season, the West senior still has goals for her last year with the Colts, including going after her sister’s 3,200 meter record, which she is currently 10 seconds behind, along with the 2,000-meter steeplechase, which her best time trails by five seconds.

McManus plans to pursue a degree in elementary education and become an elementary school teacher.