March 22, 2011

Mercer Men's XC Inks Josh Pendley to NLI



MACON, Ga. – Mercer University men's cross country head coach Ryan Bailey has announced that Josh Pendley has signed a National Letter of Intent to run for the Bears beginning in the fall of 2011. Pendley, from Oakwood, Ga., is currently a senior at West Hall High School.


"After Josh came to my attention as a potential recruit I had an immediate interest," Bailey said. "His coach, Sam Borg, was obviously very invested in this young man's success and did a great job of communicating with me.  I set up a visit for Josh and went up to West Hall to do an evaluation. After watching him run and having a chance to sit down with Josh and his family, I knew this was a 'no-brainer'. I wanted to sign him right away."


As prep at WHHS, Pendley has lettered in both cross country and track. His team's qualified for the state meet three times, finishing fourth his freshman and senior seasons (along with regional runner-up finishes those same two years). He also holds the school's five kilometer record.


Individually, Pendley placed third at the 2010 Region 8-AAA championships and 13th at the 2010 Georgia High School Association cross country championships. At the 2010 Junior Olympics cross country championships, he was third in the Georgia Association race, third in the Region 3 race and 26th in the national race in the Young Men division.


Pendley was a member of West Hall's "500 Summer Mileage Club" as a freshman through junior years. As a senior, he became the school's first-ever member of the "1,000 Summer Mileage Club."


Pendley is also a scholar-athlete for WHHS, in recognition of grade point averages of 3.5 and above.


"I am grateful that Josh decided to sign with Mercer," Bailey said. "He seemed to instantly bond with the guys on the team; he's a great student and he has the athletic background that I need to move this team forward.  Josh has already demonstrated that he can handle the mileage requirements to compete at the collegiate level and it is obvious that he is both physically and mentally tough as a runner. I expect him to make an immediate impact."


He is the son of Roger and Gloria Pendley and plans to major in nursing.