The ACU Cross Country team will began its season Thursday at Texas Tech with several new faces, including newly hired cross country and track coach Lance Bingham.
With the team coming off a rollercoaster-season that included a conference championship and the firing of the champion head coach, Bingham says he is ready for the new journey.
“I am very excited to be able to be part of a track and field program that has such a rich tradition and history,” Bingham said. “I am humbled that the Lord directed our path back to West Texas to serve with men and women of integrity, vision and purpose. I am thankful to Dr. Phil Schubert and Lee De León for this tremendous opportunity.”
Gabby Thompson, junior cross country team member, has high hopes for Bingham and thinks he can bring the team to places they haven’t been before. Thompson finished 24th out of a field of 98 runners at Texas Tech.
“It’ll be a different situation this season,” Thompson said. “We have four girls red-shirting this year and a lot of newcomers, but I think Coach Bingham has a good head on his shoulders, and will be able to take this team where it needs to be in the future.”
Thompson also stressed that although individual achievement is going to be a priority this year, team chemistry is going to be the biggest goal.
“We hope to have a good group of people to mentor,” Thompson said. “We’ve got a good team, and we’ve got new people, and now our ultimate goal is to grow together, as a team, and become a family.”
Reid Rivers, senior cross country member, said although the team needs to grow, there are many individuals that people should look out for.
Cummings was the first Wildcat to finish in the men’s race Thursday, as he came in 29th out of 107 runners
Entering his final year Rivers says that the ultimate goal for himself is to leave a lasting legacy on the team.
“My dad always said something to me when I was a kid, ‘Always leave a place better than how you found it.’ That’s what I’ve been trying to do at ACU and for this team, and I think it’s showing,” Rivers said.
ACU heads to North Texas next weekend to take part in the Ken Garland invitational.