In their third meet of the year, newcomers to the University of Dallas men’s and women’s cross-country teams took on their first 8k and 6k races, respectively.
Although the extra kilometers may have worried some, the Crusaders rose to the challenge and put up great performances as the men’s team captured a fourth place finish and the women came in sixth.
Coach Matthew Barber was especially impressed.
“Our newcomers this year have been great,” Barber said. “Most appeared a little nervous about the new distance. They executed our strategy well, though, and looked very strong. They’re definitely prepared for their next [6k or 8k races].”
On the men’s side, sophomore Thomas Hogan’s time of 27:18.01 landed him in second place and earned him another Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Runner of the Week honor.
Following close behind was freshman John James clocked in at 27:43.75, earning a fifth place finish.
On the women’s side, junior newcomer Angela Moore was the lone top ten finisher with a sixth place finish and time of 24:48.45.
Moore’s success has been key for the Lady Crusaders as her mental toughness sets an example for both the newcomers and veterans. This past weekend’s 6k showed her growth as a runner.
“Running is such a mental sport: there’s a fine line of being too aware and too disconnected,” Moore said. “You need to know when to increase or decrease your pace without worrying about it.”
With such great leadership from the top runners, Barber is looking forward to even better results throughout the rest of the season.
“[The runners are] hard workers, good listeners, full of heart,” Barber said. “Very coachable group of newcomers this year.”
Both teams will be on the trails again on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the University of Ozarks Invitational in Clarksville, Ark.