Flames Cross-Country Earns Their Spot At Nationals
Both the men and women Cross-Country teams are making their way back to Saint Leo, Florida this weekend for the NCAA Division II National Championship.
The men’s team placed first and women’s third at the South Regional Championship earning a spot at Nationals. They will race on the Abbey Course. The same course they ran for Regionals.
Assistant Coach Joseph Crooke believes that there are positives and negatives to running the same course for Nationals.
“There are advantages in the fact we know how to run the course,” Crooke said. “When is a good time for me to make a move?”
Crooke said the disadvantage in returning to the course is a mental one.
“They know when it’s going to hurt. There is a point where it really hurt last time and they’ve got to be consistent and they’ve got to hurt again,” Crooke said.
This season the men placed first in four races this season while the women placed second in two of their races and never placed lower than seventh as a team this season.
Junior Seth Eagleson placed 10th at Regionals, and revealed his goals for both himself and the team at Saturday’s race.
“My goal is to be All-American and for us to finish as a top 15 team and prove to other schools that we belong at nationals,” Eagleson said.
Eagleson also said he was pleasantly surprised in the team’s strength this year and credits the freshman for their success.
“Usually when a varsity team only consists of 3 upperclassmen it isn't that good mainly because the freshmen don't know how to race,” Eagleson said. “Luckily we have some really mature freshmen who are confident in themselves and know how to race. We're all very proud of them and how they have helped the team perform this year.”
According to Crooke, the men are expected to finish 14th and the women 26th in their races.