Lebanon High cross-country coach Tom Pearson might be the most followed high school sports coach in Lebanon County, and not just because he tweets about his work at @CedarsXC. Pearson is among the breed of high school coach who could probably out-race just about any pupil. With him at the front of the pack, it’s no wonder the team has seen growth and competitive success in recent years.
You can get a taste of what it’s like to compete cross country in the Lebanon valley by participating in the annual Cedar Nation 5k Run this Saturday at Lebanon High School (1000 S. 8th Street). The course is a flat and fast run on the beautiful Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.
Although you missed the deadline to guarantee a t-shirt, you have until tonight to signup online for the race, and you can register the day-of as well. The race benefits the Cedars’ cross country program, and it’s one of the many ways Pearson tries to support his athletes.
After competing for West Chester, where he was as a 2007 All-American well as captain of cross country and track & field, he landed a position with Franklin & Marshall as assistant coach of the cross country team, as well as his positions with Lebanon High School cross country (head coach) and track & field (assistant coach). By day, he is a social studies teacher at the middle school.
Under Pearson’s leadership, the Lebanon cross country team has won a Brooks Booster club grant and seen huge growth in its turnout for preseason activities, as well as a few rows updated on the Lebanon High records board.
His success has been applauded locally too, including by Lebanon journalist Steve Snyder.
The cross country season runs from August through October, and competition will heat up after the school year begins, although the full schedule does not seem to have been finalized as of yet.