Women’s Cross-Country With Early Success
The Marist College women’s cross-country team has people buzzing with its early season success. Ask the team about it, though, and they’ll tell you that their hot start is no surprise.
“Going into the summer, we knew what we had coming back on paper,” Coach Chuck Williams said about his team’s triumphs. “The motivation was just through the roof.”
Following a second place finish at last year’s Metro Atlantic Ath- letic Conference (MAAC) Invitational, the Red Foxes are picking up right where they left off. The team has already notched two marquee victories: first at the Marist Invitational on Sep. 1 and again at the Siena Invitational on Sep. 8. For Emily Burns ‘19, the biggest catalyst for the success might be the hours put in over the offseason. Burns cited this preparation as being crucial early on.
“Over the summer, we just build back up,” Burns said. “We get a good base, and we get a lot of miles over the summer, and we come ready for preseason in August.”
The team has been on the rise for more than a year now, after a 2016 season that saw the Red Foxes fin- ish just sixth place at the MAAC Championship. However, a renewed sense of urgency going into last season created new energy for the squad, according to Burns.
“I think that whole year, we knew we had good talent coming in, and everyone returning was working really hard,” Burns said. “We knew we had a shot at second.”
A year after the impressive finish to the 2017 season, the Red Foxes have only continued their forward momentum. A big reason for this, according to Williams, has been the team’s commitment to the assigned offseason training program.
“They’re in season from August to May,” Williams said of his team. “They can train wherever they are, so we have a very stringent summer training program to follow. We check in on them every week... everyone just wants to see that po- tential through.”
The team will look to keep its positive strides going when it competes in the Lehigh University host ed Paul Short Run on Saturday, Sep. 29. Until then, Williams wants his team’s focus to be on more immediate matters.
“We have big goals, but we’re trying not to look too far ahead,” Williams said. “One week at a time, we’re trying to get better in practice.”
Burns expressed the importance of maintaining a loose atmosphere moving forward.
“I think having fun everyday [is important],” Burns said.
Above all else, however, Williams wants his team’s attention to be focused on just that--the team.
“On the back of our shirts, it says ‘be better.’ That’s our team motto for our men’s program and our women’s program. You talk about being better every single day, every single practice. Do something that’s going to make you better,” Williams said. “With us, it’s about the team first. We don’t worry about individual successes and we’ve had some great individual results.”
THE ROAD AHEAD:
The team will have two weeks
of practice before its next competi- tion on Saturday, Sep. 29, when the Red Foxes will make their way to Lehigh University to participate in the Paul Short Run. Following the Paul Short Run will be the Lafayette Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13, which will be followed by the MAAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Loudonville, N.Y.