Berea College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams Win USCAA National Championships and Other Honors

Berea, KY – November 6, 2015 – The Berea College women’s and men’s cross country teams are celebrating after winning their respective national titles at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) 2015 National Championship. The national championship competitions were hosted by Florida College in Lakeland, Fla.

Mercy Kershner, a senior at Berea, and junior Sydney Kyker were named to the USCAA 2015 Women’s Cross Country National All-Academic Team. In addition, Nathan Smith, a junior at Berea, was named to the USCAA 2015 Men’s Cross Country National All-Academic Team.

Capping an exceptional year, Mike Johnson, coach of Berea’s men’s team, was named USCAA Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. In its announcement, the USCAA stated “Coach Johnson has seen his team make tremendous growth in 2015. As just one example, his team’s average 8K time has improved from 26:42 to 25:57 this season even after a top five finish in last year’s USCAA National Championship. His school describes this year’s team as one of the best in its history, and his coaching performance as one of his best, which is saying something considering this is his 35th straight season at Berea.”


Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.