Cross country learns from experience, increases training

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    By Cathy Exon

    The BYU men”s cross country team members are determined to learn from past successes and failures and continue to rejuvenate their desire to succeed.

    “This year we are working hard right up until race day, so that we will be ready for Nationals,” said Lewis Jones, men”s cross country team co-captain.

    Last year, team members were instructed to back off of running right before each race. This form of training affected the team”s performance at Nationals, said Jones.

    With a rank of 7th in the nation, the Cougars finished 23rd at Nationals after placing 4th at Pre-Nationals.

    Currently ranked 16th in the nation, this year the Cougars are pushing right through meets, improving their scores each time and advancing team rankings for next year.

    Teammates experience weekly power runs, charging 8 miles as hard as they can up Provo Canyon and tackle intense workouts that include 12 1000-meter runs with a 60-second break in between each run.

    Teammates are asked to do extra push-ups and sit-ups on their own free time to maintain a lean figure. Weightlifting is no longer a part of the team”s work-outs in order to reduce muscle bulk.

    “This year”s trend is so different compared to last year”s trend. We train differently, we are more united and we are pushing harder,” said Jones.

    If attitude reflects leadership, then the cross country Cougars are very optimistic about their strong performance this year. Jones emphasized that the team is getting better and better each meet.

    “We got ranked 16th in the nation this year, but we will prove differently after Nationals,” said Jones.

    Cougars have already proved their capability and capacity to refine their skills, finishing 11th at the Griak Invitational and improving their scores to finish 4th at the Pre-National meet this season.

    Jones owes a lot of the team”s success to unity.

    “There is a good cohesion throughout the team. Sometimes there is a separation between upper and lower classmen but this year there is a great camaraderie,” said Jones.

    Men and women”s cross country teams will compete at the Mountain West Conference Championships Saturday, October 27, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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