By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
The men’s and women’s cross country teams went to grandma’s house this past weekend-not their grandma’s, but their coach’s.
Head cross country coach Jon Murray took both of his teams to his grandmother’s ranch near Cloudcroft, N.M., for their annual preseason cross country team camp. The runners began the fall training season at almost 10,000 feet above sea level on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, taking advantage of the high altitude and cool weather. The athletes then worshiped together Sunday before driving home.
Murray said the retreat was intended mostly for bonding purposes, including a two-hour run through the forest trails on Saturday.
“Two hours at 10,000 feet is going to tire them,” Murray said. “It’s just a training thing-it doesn’t help them that much. We’re there for such a short time. We just got to know each other and go over some policies.”
The cross country teams began daily practice on Monday, and Murray said many of the runners are excited about the upcoming season getting started on the right foot.
“They’re all really excited about their prospects, so I think that has helped motivate them in what they have been able to do,” Murray said. “I get reports from people all over town telling me they see them out running, and it helps a lot to know that.”
Both teams will have their first competition Sept. 13 at the ACU Open at Sherrod Park.