By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018
The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team has spent their entire season preparing to qualify for nationals at the conference meet next Saturday.
Head coach Jack Dillard knows that what the runners emphasize in practice will repeat itself at the meets. As far as warming up, race attitude, and cooling down, the runners will feel comfortable doing what they have been practicing.
“We are focusing a lot of our attention on being at full strength on both the men’s and women’s side. We have yet to race everyone this fall and we will for the first time at the KCAC meet. We are mentally preparing to run in packs, to use each other for motivation, encouragement, and support. At this point it is recognizing this is bigger than any individual, as is a group effort of everyone contributing,” said Dillard.
As the meet approaches, its important that the team knows their potential. Together they have set goals, and will plan on meeting them at the meet.
“Our women have a chance to place within the top six teams. Our men will have to battle but have a chance to be in the top 2/3’s – but again we want to race in groups and minimize any opportunity for someone to fall off pace,” Dillard said.
Senior runner Abby Reed has raced at the conference meet three times total so far. She uses her experience and confidence to motivate the young women’s team to reach their goals.
“It’s exciting to see that in previous meets we’ve had a different number one runner almost every time, which I think shows that we have a lot of talented girls that aren’t afraid to step up, and that if everyone could work together that we could end up with a really fast front group. It’s also exciting to see how the track team has stepped up to be a support system for the cross country team. The last couple of meets they’ve helped us out a lot with support and cheering during the races,” Reed said.
Coach Dillard is hopeful entering the conference meet.
“We have faced some tough situations going into and going through this fall. This team has been resilient in all aspects, has shown a ton of growth and maturity in dealing with these battles. We are very young and have had some freshmen really step up and take some ownership of this team and play some key roles in who we are and how we want to do things. It has been a roller coaster ride to say the least, but I am genuinely excited heading into KCAC because there is no better time to be prepared, and no better group to do it with than this one,” Dillard said.
The KCAC Cross Country Conference meet will take place Saturday, November 3, in North Newton, KS, hosted by Bethel College.