By Hayden Cogswell
The Colorado College men’s and women’s crosscountry team is building up steam before their first meet on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Colorado Mountain College.
The men’s and women’s team completed preseason training in the Twin Lakes region of Colorado, where they trained at 9,000 feet above sea-level.
“Our preseason was great.” Claire Tobin ’20 said, “We brought the most people to preseason that I’ve seen since I was a freshman. We hiked Mount Elbert, camped out for a few nights, and did some really great runs.”
“The men’s side would like to get to Nationals this year, and I think that is a really realistic goal for them,” Tobin said. “On the women’s side, it’s a little harder to tell right now.” The women’s team has a youthful look about it this year, with only four seniors and a single junior combining to form the upperclassmen part of the team.
A lot of first-years and young runners will make up the 2019 team, and while the emphasis on youth is exciting for the team, it also leads to some uncertainty. “We have a really deep and young team, and it’s hard to tell what we are aiming for right now,” Tobin continued. “We have a lot of really talented first-years; however, I think it’s reasonable for us to go to Nationals if we do well at conferences.”
Many of the upperclassmen will look to lead by example and set the standard for the incoming runners, with junior Alexia Preston looking to make a strong impact this year. “Alexia just joined us and is very talented and shows a lot of promise,” Tobin said.
Even with the influx of youth into the squad, many of the runners will also bring previous experience to the team. Walk-on Lauren Rice has run 10 marathons and looks to be a strong addition to the team.
On the men’s side, Tobin was quick to praise some of her fellow upperclassmen on the impact they can make this season. “Max Blackburn and Tony Calderon are looking awesome right now,” she stated. “Junior Jack Williams is always a solid performer throughout the season as well,” she noted.
The teams will look to start the season off strong on Aug. 3 at the Colorado Mountain College meet. The event will take place in Leadville, Colo. at 10,000 feet above sea-level.
The team is training vigorously for the meet, with the men’s team running 80 miles this week and the women running 50. Both teams will be looking for a top finish and a fast start to the 2019 season.
Good luck, Big Cats!