Women’s cross country sprints into new season

Sept. 9, 2013

April Wefler
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With a 10th-place finish at last year’s nationals, the UCCS women’s cross country team is looking forward to the new season.

Last year, the team went to Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational and won the meet. This year, the team is headed to Spokane, Wash., for a meet at the end of the month.

“That’s where the national championships will be, so it’s kind of like a preview meet. We’re going there to kind of look at the course and be more prepared for what we’re going to have to encounter in November for nationals,” said Head Coach David Harmer.

“We would very much like to repeat that performance [at nationals] and be in the top 10 once again,” Harmer added.

Harmer said that fitness-wise, the girls are ahead of where they were at this point last year. The team is the same as last year with the exception of one team member and five new freshmen.

“We have a pretty drama-free team. The girls get on very well; their grades are fantastic,” he said.

Grades are one of the strong points for the team, according to Harmer. Last year, the squad was named an all-academic team by the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association.

“We actually had four individuals that were named to the president’s roll for having a 4.0 last semester on the track and cross country teams. We don’t have any worries about them academically,” Harmer said.

Team members like Samantha Bauer, a junior majoring in nutrition, are focusing on personal goals. Bauer said hers are to break 24 minutes in a race and to overcome her mental block.

“I always think I can’t do it, I’m not fast enough and I usually shut down during workouts and races. I can’t push myself further in the race,” Bauer said.

Despite this, Harmer said that Bauer has been working on developing mental plans to overcome those blocks in races.

“She’s been running really well and she’s been doing really well in school, and that gives her confidence,” Harmer said.

“She got pretty much straight A’s this summer, so she’s doing really well in the classroom, and that overlaps into training as well, so we’re expecting her to do really well this year,” Harmer added.

“I’d just like to see us compete hard and just kind of establish ourselves as one of the best teams in the country. We had a great year last year, really huge improvement … just kind of want to continue to build on that performance,” he said.

The next cross country meet is the Colorado College Invitational on Sept. 21 at 9 a.m. For information about other meets, visit gomountainlions.com.