Former Tusculum College cross country runner Amanda Musick Hale ’05 has been elected to the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Hall of Fame.
Commissioner Patrick Britz made the announcement on March 25 of the Class of 2014-2015, which includes Hale, longtime SAC football official Charles “Slim” Carriker, Mars Hill University football tight end David Cassell, Carson-Newman University football linebacker Mike Clowney and Wingate University graduate Dr. Russell Booker.
The class of 2015 will be officially welcomed into the SAC Hall of Fame at the conference’s annual banquet on June 4 in Asheville, N.C.
Hale posted one of the greatest running careers in conference women’s cross country program from 2001-2004.
During her storied career, Hale won a school record 10 individual titles, including the 2003 South Atlantic Conference Championship, to become the first Pioneer to earn SAC Runner of the Year accolades. She owns eight of the top 13 times (5,000-meter) in school history.
In 2001, Hale and teammate Sue Lewis, became the first Tusculum student-athletes to compete at a NCAA Division II National Championship event when they qualified for nationals. During that 2001 season, Hale was the SAC Freshman Runner of the Year.
The four-time All-SAC First Team honoree won the Tusculum Invitational a school record four times during her career, while leading the Pioneers to six team championships.
In 2001 during her rookie campaign, the Lebanon, Va. native finished no worse than third in her first seven races, including wins at the Creeper Trail Invitational, Tusculum/Greene Valley Invitational and the Land of the Sky Invitational. She also posted consecutive runner-up performances at the SAC Championship and the NCAA Southeast Regional to punch her ticket to the NCAA Nationals where she posted a 124th place finish.
In 2002, Hale battled through an injury-plagued season, with her only win of the year coming at the Tusculum Invitational. Despite the sluggish start, she finished strong at the SAC Championship with a seven-place showing and posted a 14th place performance at the NCAA Regional to earn All-Region Second Team accolades.
Her junior year was one of the best seasons ever posted by a Tusculum harrier. She won five of her first six events, including titles at the Creeper Trail Invitational, Tusculum Invitational, Maryville Invitational, Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational and the SAC Championship with a time of 19:15 (4th in Tusculum history). Hale finished fourth at the NCAA Regional to advance to the NCAA Nationals in Cary, North Carolina for a second time in three years. She was also named the Tusculum Female Athlete of the Year for the 2003-2004 academic year.
In 2004, Hale posted a solid performance as she recorded six top five showings, including a win at the Tusculum Invitational and a second-place finish at the Roanoke College Invitational. She also finished third at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational and Maryville Invitational in consecutive races. Hale finished sixth at her final SAC Championship to become the first TC runner to earn All-SAC first team honors four consecutive years. She followed with a third place finish at the NCAA Regional to advance to nationals for a third time.
She was named SAC Runner of the Week on six occasions, while also shining in the classroom. Hale was a member of the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the NCAA II Cross Country Coaches’ Association All-Academic Team. She graduated from Tusculum in 2005 with a degree in business management.
She is married to Les Hale and the couple resides in Lebanon, Va. Amanda was inducted to the Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
Hale becomes the fifth Tusculum honoree to be inducted into the SAC Hall of Fame. Former TC and Mars Hill athletic director Ed Hoffmeyer was a member of the 2007-2008 class, while former TC women’s tennis player Lesley Murray was inducted in 2008-2009. TC All-American cornerback Ricardo Colclough was inducted into the SAC Hall of Fame in 2009-2010. Tusculum All-American offensive lineman Alan Dunn was inducted in last year’s Hall of Fame class.