The starting line: A fresh cross-country season

When the leaves start to change and the warm fall air turns brisk, the MSU cross country team laces up and focuses on upcoming competition. Both women’s and men’s teams are trained and ready to set forth into this season and work toward reaching their short and long term goals.

MSU Head Coach Dale Kennedy stated the team’s most important priorities are the Big Sky Conference and Regional meets that occur later in the season. Before the teams close in on those particular meets, they must focus on training and doing well in their initial meets.

Kennedy’s intentions are for the team to “run well at each competition and continue to get better from there.” The first meet is Saturday, Sept. 21 — “We meet with eight Division One schools and four non-Division One schools,” Kennedy said. The Bobcats host this meet and Kennedy believes it will be good start to their racing season by kicking off the season on home turf.

Though this is an exciting upcoming event, the women’s team has a few runners that are sitting out due to injuries. Kennedy believes those who are healthy are ready to compensate for those who are missing as they have even more motivation to step up and do well for their team.

[pullquote align=”right”]“A big key of a successful season is to train consistently, which will allow us to do well at Conference and hopefully reach Nationals.” — Head Coach Dale Kennedy[/pullquote]

Junior Taylor Rather reiterates this by saying, “The whole team is really excited and ready to run strong. Even though we are young, everyone running is doing well and training well.” As an athlete, Rather naturally has goals for her team as well as for herself individually. She adds she like to place top seven with the team in order to help contribute to their overall success. Senior Heather Demorest commented on the team’s overall goals. “We’ve been consistently underestimated in the Conference rankings each year. This year we want to make top three, along with our individual goals of making All-Conference.” She adds that in order to do that,  they support each other and consistently come together to remind each other of their goals.

On the men’s side, both sophomore Grant Grosvenor and senior Cristian Soratos are ready to set forth into the season with confidence in the team’s ability to compete.

“For me, I feel physically fit and mentally ready to get out there and race,” said Soratos, who did not compete in the outdoor track season and is hungry to race with his team this fall. Soratos added, “A big key to a successful season is to train consistently, which will allow us to do well at Conference and hopefully reach Nationals.”

Grosvenor supported these statements and shares the belief the team is on the right track as a whole. He finds it important to not only strive to compete well for the team, but to also incorporate a strong positive outlook and morals. “Maintaining a good attitude is important, and then the rest will come,” Grosvenor said.

The team will begin their season at the Bridger Creek Golf Course this Saturday Sept. 21. The men’s race will begin at 9 a.m. with the women’s following at 9:45 a.m.