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Cross country sets a good pace for season

by Shelby Toth - Copy Editor
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 09:25 pm
The athletes take off from the start line at the Harry Anderson Invitational (above), where they raced 6,000 meters and placed second out of four total competing teams. The time of the top seven combined was 19:28.2. The women finished sixth of 16 colleges with a top seven time of 20:21.9.
The athletes take off from the start line at the Harry Anderson Invitational (above), where they raced 6,000 meters and placed second out of four total competing teams. The time of the top seven combined was 19:28.2. The women finished sixth of 16 colleges with a top seven time of 20:21.9.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams have raced through the first half of their respective seasons with impressive results.

The women’s team opened its season at The College at Brockport early Season Short Course Invitational, where it placed two of five from the teams there. The average time for the race, 4,000 meters in length, was 15:52.1 for the top seven Brockport girls. The team’s next race, the Oswego State Invitational, saw the women come out again in two, this time out of nine competing schools. This race was a full 5k, and saw the top seven women finishing with an average time of 20:59.2. Unfortunately, the team dropped down a bit for the next race, a 5k at the Harry Anderson Invitational. The women placed sixth of 16 colleges, with an average top seven time of 20:21.9. While the women did improve its time, they did not place as well.

The men’s team, however, has prevailed in their two meets. Also opening with the Brockport Early Season Short Course Invitational, the men raced 6,000 meters and placed second out of four total competing teams. The time of the top seven combined was 19:28.2. The team’s next meet was at the Oswego Invitational, where it came in first out of 11 teams. This race was a full 8k, and saw the top seven runners combined time at 26:56.3.

As with a common theme in many varsity sports at Brockport this year, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams weigh heavily in freshmen. With the women’s team having 12 out of 21 runners being freshmen, and the men’s having 13 out of 27, it’s clear the freshmen outweigh any other year on the team. But in the eyes of the head coach, Danielle Novar, this has only brought good things.

“Having so many freshmen on both teams has already been a lot of fun,” Novar said. “They are a talented crew with some big goals, but I need to make sure that they are being set up to stay healthy and progress over their entire four years.”

Those who have been on the team previously have also stepped up to the plate of helping out the freshmen. 

“My returners have now spent three years with me as their coach, so they know what I expect and they are taking a tremendous role in teaching the newcomers and supporting them in what can often be a rocky transition,” Novar said.

Novar is the head coach for all 48 runners. While that might sound daunting, she has taken the task in stride during her three years with the Golden Eagles. In her past two seasons alone, Novar has trained 30 SUNYAC Conference champions. Her success is owed in part to her adaptable coaching style. 

“We are all so different, come from such different backgrounds that I think it’s important for me not to have just one coaching style,    but be flexible to the needs of each athlete,” Novar said.

For the women’s team, junior Krista Kicsak has consistently led in all three meets. Her time in the Brockport Invitational 4,000 meters was 15:32.3, putting her at 10th overall in the race. As for 5ks, her time at  the Oswego State Invitational was 20:29.0 and she finished in eighth. As with the team’s average score, Kicsak was able to improve her time and finish at 19:59.1 during the Harry Anderson Invitational, coming in 20th place.

Sophomore Sean Kuehn has lead the men’s team, coming in first at 18:58.9 during the 6,000 meter run at the Brockport Invitational. At the Oswego State Invitational 8k, Kuehn finished second with a time of 26:32.8, roughly four seconds faster than the man                    behind him.

While the team may be entering the second half of their season, Novar likes to keep a consistency throughout the season in regards to mindset. 

“From our first race to our last race of the season, I believe in bringing the same intensity and purpose,” Novar said. “That way, on the day of the SUNYACS or Regionals everyone knows that I am not asking something superhuman of them but rather something that they have repeatedly done every weekend leading up to that day.” 

Both the men’s and women’s teams’ next race is on Saturday, Oct. 14, against the University of Rochester Yellow Jackets.

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