After winning the 10K race at the Midwestern State Carnival, William Pike, junior from Newnan, Ga., was selected by the Lone Star Conference as its Cross Country Runner of the Week on Friday, Oct. 14.
Pike is the first Wildcat recognized this season for the Runner of the Week title.
“It felt good to win at Midwestern,” Pike said. “I won a few cross country races in high school, but this was my first at the collegiate level.”
Pike said he didn’t go into the race expecting to compete for the win because the team was using the meet as a tempo workout on the course where regionals will be held, Nov. 5. It was the team’s first 10K of the year.
“In the past, we haven’t ran a 10K until regionals, and although two kilometers may not seem much longer, it’s been a very difficult jump to make at the end of the season. I think we’ll be more prepared for regionals this year, after having already run a 10K and on the same course.”
Pike said keeping the lead was hard because of the wind that particular day, and coach Chris Woods told him to cruise it in. Pike was happy with his win in the difficult weather conditions, especially because he didn’t have to go all out.
“Will has definitely stepped up this year,” Woods said.
If he can keep his momentum up, Woods thinks Pike can be top ten in the conference meet.
“I felt honored to be named LSC Runner of the Week after my win at Midwestern,” Pike said. “I’m glad ACU is back in the headlines for cross country.”
Pike said the team has done its final workouts in preparation for the conference race. Everyone is back from injury and the team will be able to run a full-strength squad for the first time this season.
The men’s team is going to do everything it can to defend the title and earn its 21st straight LSC championship, Pike said.
“Whatever has happened during the regular season won’t matter at all after conference, regionals, and nationals. All the training and racing we’ve done so far has been for one purpose: to run fast in the races that count. We can accomplish the first part of that goal on Saturday, in San Angelo.”