South Portland senior Shannon Conley, one of the state’s premier cross country and track runners, is joined by parents, Phil and Kelly, siblings, Patrick and Kayla, athletic director Todd Livingston and coach Karen Reardon last week as she signs her National Letter of Intent to attend and run cross country at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Conley, who plans to study nursing, said there were many factors that led her to choose St. A’s, a Division II program.
“I wanted to stay in New England, be able to run cross country and be a nursing major,” said Conley, South Portland’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year after placing second at the Class A state meet. “I knew (St. A’s) was the place for me. It’s very welcoming. It was always my number one school. It was an honor to be accepted. The team is very friendly and family-oriented. I love to run. I can’t imagine my life without it. I’m really excited.”
Reardon feels that Conley has what it takes to be a successful college runner.
“One of the hallmarks of Shannon’s running is her work ethic,” Reardon said. “She likes to run and pushes herself to do the work. Because of that, I think she’ll do well. She wants to excel, so that’s another motivating factor. I see her being very competitive and hopefully getting better. She should be a welcome addition to their program and I expect to hear good things coming out of Manchester.”