Bluefield College Cross-Country Team Named Champions of Character December 15, 2008 | RSS Bluefield College's men's cross-country team has earned the title of Champions of Character by the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) for the 2008 season. Cited for its efforts to display respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and sportsmanship on and off the playing fields, the BC men's cross country team earned the Champions of Character distinction during its inaugural year with the AAC. "I'm so proud of them," said BC's first-year cross-country coach Charity McDaniel. "I feel that this award is for the men and women of our team since they worked together this year." The college launched its first men's and women's cross-country teams in more than 40 years with the start of the fall 2008 semester. Making up the men's Champions of Character team were Robert Hudson of Roanoke, VA; Bryan Scruggs of Bluefield, VA; Chris Smith of Stafford, VA; and Brian Wright of Hardy, VA. Members of the first women's cross-country team included Lindsey Barton of Vinton, VA; Amanda Mahnken of Fredericksburg, VA; and Tabitha Robins of Tazewell, VA. As part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Champions of Character program, student-athletes at respective member institutions are expected to exhibit character values in competition and to model character traits on campus and in the community. Launched by the NAIA and its member institutions in 2000, the Champions of Character program addresses character issue more comprehensively than any other national program for youth, reaching hundreds of thousands of students on nearly 300 college campuses and their surrounding communities nationwide. "The Champions of Character program continues to grow and impact people throughout our nation," said Rob Miller, director of the program for NAIA. "It creates an environment in which every NAIA student-athlete, coach, official, and spectator are committed to the true spirit of competition."