Cross country maintains optimism

The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., this past weekend.

According to Nicholas Robinson, director of sports information, in his recap of Saturday’s meet, the women’s cross country team placed 24th, and then men’s team placed 27th at the nationally- attended meet.

Coach Scott Schlochler noted that the team was not intimidated at all by the elite runners and the fast pace of the meet on Saturday.

“All of them competed well against a very strong field,” Schlochler said. “They did a great job of changing their race tactics to be much faster at the beginning of the race even though it means they were more uncomfortable and fatigued toward the end of the race.”

Junior Kelsey Rae is in her third year as a part of the Golden Eagle cross country team. One thing she has enjoyed seeing this year is the unity of the team through bonding in workouts and through challenging each other to do their best in every aspect.

“This year the girls’ team does the wobble after every race, which is just a fun little tradition,” Rae said. “But we also always pray before races as a team or with the teams we are competing against.”

Personally, for Rae, there is a strong importance in having a positive attitude and pushing to do the best possible in each and every workout.

She says Coach Schlochler helps the team see past wins and losses, making sure their focus is in the right area.

“Coach Schlochler is really great about making us see the bigger picture in what we are doing after races and ensuring that we are glorifying God and honoring Him in our workouts and races,” Rae said. “He gives us topics to think about like worth and worshiping God in running.”

For Rae, running for JBU has helped her grow in her love for running.

“I still like racing and competing, but I have fallen in love with running just to run rather than running to get a first place medal or trophy,” Rae said. “I love running and I love getting to live life with each girl on the team. They are all incredible and teach me so much.”

Schlochler says that the team has reached the part of the season where faster paces and shorter intervals take place. But he hopes that this helps the runners become faster, and that the team adapts to the faster paces the bigger races require.

“We will continue to run faster and faster as the season progresses,” Schlochler said. “The training will become shorter and more intense as we near our conference meet as well as continue to train the long runs to continue to improve our fitness.”