Lee's cross country team recruits crucial freshman
The freshmen on the Flames and Lady Flames cross-country team played a role in winning at the GSC Championship.
The Flames roster of 12 is made up of five freshmen. Since the season began, the freshmen have maintained Lee’s record of last season.
Freshman Christian Noble joined the Flames fall 2016. Since then, he has earned GSC Freshman of the Week and placed fifth at the GSC Championship with a time of 25:23.32.
Noble credited Head Coach Caleb Morgan for his success.
“He’s pretty young, but he’s got a good system going,” Noble said. “He definitely knows what he’s talking about.”
Noble also earned Freshman of the Year after out running all the freshman at the GSC Championship. 84 runners participated in the championship.
Freshman Blakely Moore from the Lady Flames placed 13th in the championship with a time of 19:12.39, agains 89 other runners. Six freshman joined the Lady Flames cross country team this year.
Moore thanked her teammates for supporting her in her first season at Lee.
“They have been a huge encouragement and keeping me focused, and from not getting discouraged,” Moore said.
Coach Morgan said he often encourages the freshman to fight the urge to compete in practice.
“They are doing a much longer season than they are typically used to, and they’re new, so they want to prove themselves.”
Moore said she is not a competitive person, so adhering to Morgan’s philosophy of suppressing competition is no feat.
“We run in a pack, and practice, it’s not extremely competitive,” Moore said, “so I just try to imagine them as my teammates and not my competitors.”
Graduate Assistant Coach Joseph Crook said that it is important for new team members to not compare themselves to their teammates and focus on themselves.
“When you enter into a season, and when you are running with athletes in college who have been running for years, it’s easy to compare yourself to others in practice,” Crooke said.
Both the Flames and Lady Flames will be heading to Saint Leo, FL on Nov. 5 for the NCAA Division II South Region Championship.
Coach Morgan said one of the core reasons for the freshmen’s success is the high expectations the runners had at the beginning of the season. These expectations were uninfluenced by the coaches and created by the runners for their own gain.
“They have really high expectations for themselves,” Coach Morgan said.