September 7, 2007

Cross Country Puts Summer Miles to Test Against Army

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Tomorrow the men’s and women’s cross country squads will see if the long, scorching-hot summer miles pounded out at a clip of over 100 per week were worth it during the first dual meet against Army tomorrow. The race will be a five-mile affair for the men and a 5K race for the women. As the teams prepare for the start of the season, each member uses the first race for different purposes.
Junior Zachary Hine will use the meet as an opportunity to see how his conditioning is.
“I want to see how my racing shape improved over the summer,” he said. “I see this meet as a stepping stone. I just want to see how it goes, but I’m pretty confident that I am going to do well. With all the miles I feel that I am a lot stronger than a lot people. I think five miles is a long race and my strength will make me better.”
Along with Hine, senior co-captain Sage Canaday has emerged as a leader for the Red. Can-aday recently qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials when he ran a school-record time of 2:21:43 during June in the Grandma’s Marathon. Assistant coach Ro­bert Johnson was im­pressed with both of their improvements.
“With Zach and Sage I couldn’t be more happy about their performance,” he said. “They both didn’t let the success get to their heads.”
Along with the standouts Hine and Canaday, Johnson was impressed overall by the team’s improvements over the summer and he is looking forward to how it shows up during the race.
“It will be interesting to see how it plays out,” Johnson said. “All the working out and stuff is great and the team is really solid, but the best practice for racing is racing.”
Johnson will keep an eye out for senior co-captain Jimmy Wyner who hasn’t met expectations during practice.
“I have frankly been kind of disappointed with Jimmy Wyner’s performance,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, he will display intensity during this race and show improvement throughout the season.”
Even with expectations running high, the squad is excited a­bout its first meet and the start of the season.
“It’s a great feeling being at the meets,” said sophomore Charlie Hatch. “It’s just fun to get a bit nervous and excited before the race, contemplating what will happen. There will probably be a great deal of that with everybody [tomorrow]. But mostly, I hope that most of the guys realize that you work incredibly hard for months for small little chances in the races and really take advantage of it.”
Along with the excitement of the upcoming start of the season, many runners are anxious to see where everyone finishes at the end of the race.
“Everyone is just very curious as to what the order of finishers is [going to be],” Hatch said. “Goals for the meet: finish in our top-5, which could be very difficult this year.”