Setting pace for life

Devaughn Patterson, Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to train and grow as a unit even though the season is underway.

Coach Chris Wadas feels the training makes the runners competitive.

“We’re in the fourth meet. In the first meet the girls got first and the guys got second. The next meet we went to, the girls got fourth and the guys won it, and with our upcoming meets the team members are using it as a type of strategy as a workout race,” said Wadas.

Wadas’ goal for the team is to become more unified.

“I feel if that happened they would become more trusting of each other and find more success. It’s pretty much the key to a lot of teams.”

Cross country serves as both a team and individual sport. Members are looking to build trust in one another and meet their personal goals as well.

Sophomore Rebecca Santoleri said she is working to improve her times from last year. “This year I’m trying to work on my race strategy where I can either start out at more comfortable pace and then work myself to go a little faster towards the end of the race.”

Santoleri thinks the training regimen helps her personal times and thinks her teammates would agree.

“We’ve been doing a lot of miles lately so that certainly helps us with our speed because once you get the miles up you should be able to run faster,” said Santoleri. “Personally I’m trying to run a faster 6 K than last year and I’m hoping that this will make me faster for track season,” said Santoleri.

Wadas said runners can get to the top if they make running a part of their lifestyle.

“They accept the fact that their sport is running so they have to train hard and go out and run eight miles a day. It stinks sometimes, but it’s what they have to do to get where they want to be as a runner,” said Wadas.

Although the training can be intense, especially with early morning practices and a full class load, the runners agree it is worth all the time in the end.

“We complain about it sometimes because in the morning it’s very cold, but once you get out there you feel good about it and it’s kind of like a self-accomplishment,” said Santoleri.

Training schedules differs depending on the skill-building practice runners need, whether it is endurance or speed.  Rest is part of the training, too.

“If we had a 10 mile run we run at 5:00 in the morning and 5:00 at night and that makes it easier on our legs. So it’s worth it in the long run, but short runs are a different story,” said Higley.

The teams also complete weight training exercises throughout the week to keep their muscles loose and strong. But no matter what sort of training they have scheduled for the day, the team agrees they need to work to encourage each other to get the outcomes they want.
“We’re trying to work on working together during the races. Before it was always about competitiveness amongst ourselves instead of focusing on the competition, but now we’re trying to work together,” Higley said. “It’s not going to happen right away, but we’re trying.”