By Jonathan Deal
Tate Carden will run cross-country for the Lions after a standout career at Athens. Carden joined four other student-athletes at Athens Wednesday morning in signing national letters of intent.
Carden won the Limestone County Country Meet in October at Blue Springs Track with a time of 17:03. The senior finished his career with three consecutive top 15 finishes at the state meet.
In 2012, he posted a career-best third-place finish at the state meet, followed by a fourth place finish last season. Carden had several other offers, but decided to stay close to home.
Along with joining the cross-country team, Carden will help start the first men’s track and field team at North Alabama.
“If you’re trying to get a program started, this is the guy you want,” said Athens cross-country coach Travis Barnes. “He makes it look effortless. Not just athletically, but academically, everything he has done for the school has been tremendous.”
Fellow cross-country coach Col. Eli Ballard said he nicknamed Carden, “The Italian Sports Car of Running.”
“He has unlimited potential,” said Ballard. “Anywhere that he goes is going to be better because he is there. He has great values. A coach couldn’t ask for anything better.”