By HAYDEN COGSWELL
The cross country team is off to a quick start this season after a promising preseason. The squad held their preseason last weekend by camping in the Collegiate Peaks. The main focus of the trip to the Peaks was on exposure to the high-altitude training that only a place like Colorado can provide.
The team completed intensive hill workouts, which were made more difficult by the high altitude of their mountain surroundings. While it was hard work, runners said that the beautiful scenery made the runs more enjoyable than normal. The team also used the trip to become closer as a squad, playing team building games and visiting a local hot spring together. On the final day of the trip, the runners took advantage of the geography around them by climbing the popular fourteener Mount Antero. Although only spanning three days, the exposure to high altitude during the preseason will give the cross country team an advantage over competing squads in the upcoming season.
While there are many great runners among the returning athletes, some of the incoming freshmen are expected to make a big impact in the upcoming season. Megan Coch, a Colorado native from Highlands Ranch, is a notable addition to the team with a 5K personal record of 18:40. Also looking to take her place as one of the top runners on the team is promising freshman Charlotte Furman from Sudbury, Mass. Veteran runner Claire Tobin spoke on Furman’s ability:
“She’s absolutely killed it in the workouts we did at preseason,” Tobin said. Furman runs in three different events: the mile, the two mile, and the 5K. Her personal records are 5:31 for the mile, complemented with a 19:45 for the 5K.
Sophomore Paul Olsen is looking forward to seeing the impact of the freshmen males on the team, placing special importance on the newcomers. “We have a really good freshman class with four or five guys looking to have an impact on the team,” Olsen said. “We’ve got a few upperclassmen that are abroad or just transferred. Everyone is motivated trying to make up for them.” Many of the team’s incoming freshmen will be doubling their mileage coming from high school, so preseason served as a good stepping stone to acclimate to collegiate cross country running.
The team has stayed relatively injury-free throughout preseason, a trend they will be looking to continue as long as possible. Last season, the team had several major and untimely injuries, something the team is actively working on.
On Sept. 1, cross country opens their season against cross-town rivals UCCS. The Tigers take on the Mountain Lions in a home meet held at Monument Park Valley North, and while there is undoubtedly some rust to be worked out, the team is ready to compete.
“The first meet back is always a little nerve-wracking,” Tobin said. “But I definitely feel like we’re very prepared and we have a good group of girls and guys who are up for it.”
With a solid preseason and talented freshmen looking to make a mark, this season is shaping up to be a successful one for the Colorado College cross country team, hopefully starting with some great performances at home against UCCS.