Giving Tuesday Day 3: Three Regional Championships

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On the third day of Giving Tuesday my Piedmont shared with me THREE regional championships in three weeks – Go Bruins!

Cross Country Track

Clark Harney began his college career at West Piedmont Community College, intending to go to Appalachian State University and get a nursing degree. During his time at community college, Clark had a change of heart and a calling to become a pastor. His love for God and his desire to help others led him to look for a bible college. After researching online, Clark found a Christian University close to his home in Morganton, NC: Piedmont International University. Following conversations with his family about Piedmont, Harney discovered his grandfather attended Piedmont Bible College back in the late ’40s, early ’50s. Running had always been a hobby for Clark. 

When he got to Piedmont, Clark continued to run around campus as an escape but wished the university had a collegiate cross country team. When PIU announced in spring 2019 that they were starting up a team, Clark was ecstatic. Harney got in contact with the coach immediately, committed to run, and began his training. 

Before the season, Clark did not realize his potential running the 8K. It was not until his first collegiate race that Harney knew he could have success if he continued to train hard and focus on his nutrition and sleep. Harney, a senior Biblical Studies major, has competed in a total of five races this season, finishing in first place at the Methodist Monarch Invitational and the BJU Invitational (NCCAA South Regionals). 

Throughout the season, Clark has cut down his 8K time by almost 3 minutes, qualifying himself for the NCCAA National Race. Harney is the NCCAA South Region Runner of the Year after finishing in 1st place at Regionals. As Harney trains, he hopes to stay competitive and place in the Top 10 at Nationals. 

Men’s Soccer

The Piedmont International University Men’s Soccer team is coached by Mr. Craig Golding. Golding took over the soccer program as Head Coach at John Wesley University in 2014 and continued with the team to coach at PIU after the two schools merger. He  is in their second season after the merger with John Wesley University. 

The Bruins men’s soccer team (9-6-2) had a historic season as they qualified for their first ever NCCAA D1 Regional Championship tournament, claimed their first ever NCCAA D1 Regional Championship, and qualified for their first ever NCCAA D1 National Tournament. Marco Diaz is one of three seniors who transferred to John Wesley University in 2016/17 from Montreat College. He is the second leading goal scorer with 7 goals. He scored two goals in the Regional Championship Game vs Brewton Parker College and the game winner in the 2nd half of OT. 

Adrian Gonzales is the Captain of the team and one of three seniors. He has been captain of the team since his sophomore year at John Wesley University. Ronald ‘Junior’ Smart is PIU’s third senior. 

Mario Salinas was NCCAA All-Region South Player of the year. He led the team in points with 9 goals and 6 assists. Rhys Thomas was the  NCCAA South All-Region Player of the year. He transferred from St. Charles Community College where he was NJCAA Region 16 All Region 1st team. Head Coach Craig Golding claimed NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year honors as the team more than doubled the wins of the previous campaign. The first game of Nationals is Dec 2nd in Kissimmee, Florida.

Women’s Volleyball

The Piedmont International University Women’s Volleyball team is led by Coach Brenn Ferguson in her first year as Head Coach. This is the  2nd consecutive year for the team to win NCAA regional competition. The girls volleyball team originated at John Wesley University and a number of the current players transferred to PIU after the merger of the two schools. 

The team is made up of 5th year John Wesley University (JWU)  transfer seniors Alexia Infante and Daylin Schweitzer, JWU transfer seniors Olivia Bullard, Cameron Dubuc, Chelsea Edwards, Mariah Robinson and PIU senior Hannah Arneth, JWU transfer junior Lydia Horne and PIU junior Cydne Moore, sophomores Jill Jones, McKenzie Mastin, Brittany Zellar and freshmen Kaylee Barridge and Emma Snyder. 

Four players that comprise the “Leadership Committee” of the team are Cameron Dubuc, Jill Jones, McKenzie Mastin, Mariah Robinson. As she closed out her first year, Coach Ferguson expressed profound appreciation for the support of the home crowd. In her words, “We could not have done without our home crowd. They helped sustain our belief and intensity. When they rushed the floor after the final point was won, that was as authentic a moment of school unity as one could wish for.”

“GivingTuesday” is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day.

It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.” – givingtuesday.org

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