Submitted by Dalton State College
Heritage High School senior Natalie Espinoza-Hensley has signed to run cross country with the Dalton State College Roadrunners this fall.
The newest DSC signee was a key part of the Lady Generals’ cross country teams that have received state recognition, including Class 3A state champions during her junior year. As an individual, she captured a region title and finished ninth in the state. Her personal best 5K time is 19 minutes, 44.89 seconds.
A resident of Catoosa County, Espinoza-Hensley said choosing Dalton State was easy.
“It is a new program and they made me feel at home,” she said. “The school is not too big or too small and the coaches (Margie Bruner and Andy Meyer) are genuine, not trying to be something they are not.”
The talented athlete also competed nine years in swimming, four for the Carpet Capital Aquatics Club in Dalton and five for the Baylor Swim Club in Chattanooga. She was also on the Heritage swim team.
She is currently on the Lady Generals’ track team that advanced to sectionals her junior year. She was second in the region 3,200 meters. This year’s track season is still in progress.
Jeremy Wynne, cross country coach for the Lady Generals, said Espinoza-Hensley is the type of competitor who will complement Dalton State’s young program.
“I’m really proud of her,” Wynne said. “Natalie is a hard worker who will help the Roadrunners from the beginning.”
“We’re so excited to have someone of her caliber,” Bruiner said. “She’s competitive and driven and motivated. I think she is going to add a lot to our team and just the attitude of our team. She is just a great kid who likes to be active and she is a good student.”
Natalie is the daughter of Anne and Richard Hensley.