Both ASU cross-country teams compete in the Grand Canyon University Cross Country Invitational this Saturday in Goodyear.
The men and women’s teams have entered their “B” squads this weekend.
Conserving energy when teams come across low-key meets is a huge part of the long, grueling season, but it becomes a great asset for the teams’ top runners.
“Well, it would be cool and nice to be able to run my ‘A’ team in Phoenix, in terms of recruiting and exposure and those kind of things,” men’s coach Louie Quintana said. “But in the way the NCAA is set up to qualify for the NCAA championships, we need to be at our best — or ready to go — next meet, on Friday.”
The following Friday, the Sun Devils will compete in a challenging Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.
Besides at practice, a weekend of no competition assures ASU’s top runners to be at their best for the next upcoming meet,
“It would be really difficult to come back, follow up next week and be 100 percent and at their best because of the distance and how long our races are,” Quintana said.
One point women’s coach Ryan Cole made was that although they may be getting rest from competition, there’s no doubt they’re competing and running just as hard, even in practice.
“Even though they’re not racing on the weekend, they’re still putting in a lot of work,” Cole said. “So their workout on Friday will be just as hard, if not a little harder, than some other races they have in certain ways.
“It is nice to not have to travel every week, but it still is a big work week for everybody.”
Cole said it is important for runners to have those down weeks in order to cycle back into a big training period or so, as they prepare themselves for the NCAA Championship later this season.
It’s a different situation for runners toward the end of the lineup.
These meets become an opportunity for them to show how capable they are of competing in big meets.
Redshirt freshman Daniel Wong is competing Saturday and can’t be anymore excited.
Last year, the men’s team dominated the meet. All five of its point-scorers were in the top 15.
“I’m really excited because the main competition will be from our team,” Wong said. “There will be three or four of us all pushing for that number one spot in the race. So in a sense, it’s kind of like what we do everyday in practice, but we can really let loose and go at each other.”
Last year the women ran well enough to earn a runner-up finish.
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