Women’s cross-country: Freshmen infuse new energy
Women’s cross-country coach Ryan Cole said he will run most of his freshmen during the team’s first meet on Sept. 7 in Flagstaff at the George Kyte Invitational.
After nearly two weeks of practice, Cole said the freshmen have mixed well with the upperclassmen, and he wants to give them their first competitive collegiate experience this weekend.
“We’ve really been able to see that there are some freshman that are going to be contributing to our program,” Cole said.
Cole said he is excited about his freshmen’s level of fitness at this point in the season, and that there are a handful of newcomers who have stood out above the rest.
Miranda Kewley, a freshman from Temecula, Calif., has caught Cole’s eye early in the season.
“Miranda Kewley has done a really nice job for us helping set the tone in some of the workouts and run sessions,” he said.
Kewley said that a major difference between high school and college is the greater motivation.
“All the girls on the team really want it,” she said. “They are always working hard, and you don’t have to remind them to continuously work hard and put in the effort.”
Kewley said she is excited to race in her first collegiate event and to compete with some elite athletes.
“It’s exciting just to go out and know that your summer training will pay off,” she said.
Cole said he was hopeful that the freshmen would contribute right away but was a little surprised by how in shape they were to start the season.
The coach said he feels like the team’s mentality is right where it needs to be early in the season, leading up to this weekend’s meet.
“Their energy is high, (and) their excitement for what they are doing is high,” he said. “The freshmen really infused positive excitement into the group.”
Men’s cross-country: Team focused on strong start in Flagstaff
Men’s cross-country coach Louie Quintana said he will run his top guys in the squad’s first meet on Sept. 7 at the George Kyte Invitational in Flagstaff.
“This group is really working well together and holding back in a good way,” Quintana said. “(They are) helping each other continue to get better.”
After two long week of practice, Quintana said the team is ready to compete. He said facing No. 2 NAU is a great opportunity and measuring stick for the team.
“They’re ready to get a race under their belt,” Quintana said. “They understand it’s a long grind of a year.”
The team will treat the first meet as a way to implement some strategies, Quintana said. But the coach pointed out the fact that he will not utilize his entire playbook this early in the season.
“What you’ll see Sept. 7 won’t necessarily be what you’ll see competitive-wise come the championship time of the year,” he said.
The team will need a strong start to set the tone for the remainder of the season if they are to have any chance at making the NCAA Division I Championship this year.
Freshman Bernie Montoya, the team’s top recruit, said he is ready and focused for his first collegiate meet.
“I just have to do my part and run my race, instinctively,” Montoya said. “I’ll just know what to do.”
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