With blue and red maps lining the table, one of Lawrence County’s most decorated athletes signed her national letter of intent Tuesday morning to move on to the next level.
After helping the cross country team earn two state championships and two state runner ups and earning herself All State honors five times, Emily Daniel will be moving on to run at UNA.
Replacing the kind of productivity that Daniel provided the program will not be easy, and it’s something that head coach Stanley Johnson probably won’t want to think about at the moment. Still, her signing was a special day for the longtime cross country coach.
“You want to hold on to her, and all of them really, because of the relationship I have with them and I hate to see any of them go,” Johnson said. “The team will miss her tremendously, but to see her go on to UNA, it’s a special feeling.”
Daniel has had a profound effect on the Lawrence County program and Johnson thinks she will have a similar effect at UNA.
“When I saw UNA’s runners at one of the meets they were helping us with, I already saw them with her and working with her,” Johnson said. “She’s like a magnet. She goes about her work quietly but the girls are attracted to her for her leadership and look to her to be that mainstay when things got rough. I think she will have a similar role at UNA.”
Daniel joins a long list of athletes from the county that will get to realize the dream of being a collegiate athlete.
“I’ve learned here that you get out as much work as you put in,” Daniel said. “I’ve been thinking about this day since my freshmen year.”