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Alumni Athletes: Still Running After All These Years

Socrates Koutsoutis and Dr. Peter Hartsock

If you want to catch up with alumnus Dr. Peter Hartsock, you first might want to lace up your sneakers. In the 1960s, he was a member of  Montgomery College’s first-ever track team—and he has not stopped running since.

Hartsock, now age 70, recently returned to campus to attend a reunion for the College’s athletes. Track athletes as well as soccer, football, basketball, and tennis players from across the decades gathered for lunch in early February to reminisce and catch the current men’s and women’s basketball teams in action.

“I remember good people at the College, especially on the team. When you are intensely involved with people on a daily basis, you get a good feeling working out together and being together hours and hours every day,” Hartsock said.

And even after many decades away, Dr. Hartsock is still enthusiastic about the value of a Montgomery College education. “MC is a good place and you won’t end up in debt for all eternity; you get a good education and go on from there. The College gives you a stepping stone and you move on,” he said. Hartsock did just that, earning a PhD and spending much of his career as an AIDS researcher.

Socrates Koutsoutis attended the College between 1954 and 1956 and played on the football team as well as an intramural boxing team. He says it was a thrill to play in the College’s first bowl game—against North Carolina’s Chowan College—which MC won 12–0 in November of 1954. Koutsoutis and his teammates were inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame last year.

And like Dr. Hartsock, Koutsoutis says the College provided him a much needed education boost. “I was a bad student in high school and did as little as possible to get through. At MC, the attention from instructors and small classes gave me the foundation to move forward in my education.” Today, he generously helps the students who followed in his footsteps with the Socrates and Anne Koutsoutis Statue of Liberty Endowed Scholarship for first-year students.

A special highlight of the reunion was the return of many members of the 2011 women’s soccer team along with their coach, Kelly Wakeman; the team won the NJCAA National Championship that year.

2011 Women’s Championship Soccer Team

“It’s been great to see how lives grow; girls that have gotten married, have finished degrees, have jobs. I think one of the true measures of a coach comes later down the line when you see your former players as people, as members of the society,” Wakeman told MCTV. “The fact that they are contributing so much and are such positive people is as meaningful to me as a national championship.”

Greg Enloe, director of alumni relations and associate athletic director, said over 40 athletes attended the reunion and each was introduced to the crowds gathered for the day’s games. “If you can link the past to the present,” Enloe says, “you help ensure a strong future for these programs and the College.”

And a strong link it is.  With the alumni in the stands cheering on the current men’s and women’s basketball teams that afternoon, both emerged with decisive wins over Harford Community College.

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