The ACU cross country team continued its sizzling start to the 2010-2011 season Friday night as the men’s team won the team title at the Central Missouri Mule Run in Warrensburg, MO.
The Wildcats, eager to build upon their second-place finish last week at the Baylor Bear Invitational, continued their hot streak by way of motivation and determination Saturday, said Head Coach Chris Woods.
“Our guys were really excited to be in this position again, following our strong showing last week. Our goal for this week was to build on our success last week, and I believe we did just that in Missouri,” Woods said. Senior Amos Sang won the individual title with a time of 20:09.74 covering the 4-mile course.
The Wildcats were in the driver’s seat throughout the meet, scoring 28 points to win the team title, while runner-up Central Missouri scored 44 points. Sang’s teammate, Cleophas Tanui was runner-up at the meet, finishing the race in 20:35.88, while Romain Rybicki came in fourth with a time of 20:50.73. Additionally, Jake Schofield finished ninth and Will Pike came in 12th for the ‘Cats.
One major obstacle for the team in Missouri they had to adjust to was the many hills present throughout the course.
“The many hills were a surprise to us in Missouri. We haven’t really done hill-training in practice yet, so there was a little bit of a learning curve, ” Rybicki said.
Woods said depth will be one of the keys to success for the team this season.
“From top to bottom, our roster is as complete of one as I’ve ever been around. We have so many weapons and competitors from Amos to Will, Romain to Cleophas, and Jake to Gary Duncan. Our guys are great,” Woods said.
Tanui, a senior on the squad, acknowledged that there isÂ a new vibe of enthusiasm and optimism on the team this year that has been missing over the past three years. That vibe is what he believes has helped them up to this point.
“Our team has really come together. We all enjoy coming to practice and being around each other,” Tanui said. “We love to have fun, and Coach Woods encourages it. We believe we have something special this year.”