Coming off a third place finish in the George Kyte Invitational, the ASU women’s cross-country team looks to prepare and do well in the upcoming invitational meet in Scottsdale.
The team looks to build on the success from the last meet in Flagstaff, and coach Ryan Cole said that he was shocked by how well the freshmen ran this past weekend.
Cole decided to run a lot of the freshmen in the first meet to get them acclimated to the competition in college and to have them gain experience.
One notable freshman was Jenna Maack, who finished seventh in the event with an average mile time of 5:55.
“Jenna Maack was a huge surprise,” Cole said. “She ran a smart race. She didn’t go over her head and ran really evenly throughout.”
The team is ready to get back to work after a good outing in Flagstaff, Cole said. He added that now the team mentality is that they are better than they originally thought.
Cole said he made the decision to keep some runners from competing last weekend, but he expects to start getting more runners involved as the season unfolds.
The team is going to continue to stay the course in these early meets because they’re meant to be warm-ups for the real tough tests later in the season, he said.
Now with the first meet of the season out of the way the team has a week worth of practices to stay focused for the meet this Saturday in Scottsdale.
“They’re a fit, talented group, and I think they can continue to get better,” Cole said.
The ASU men’s cross-country team is in the process of preparing for what is technically its first home meet this Saturday at the Artichoke Invitational.
The team is coming off a great finish in Flagstaff, where it placed second overall behind some great individual times.
Freshman Bernie Montoya, in his first collegiate competition, finished in the top 10.
Coach Louie Quintana said it was important that Montoya started off strong and hopes that he can build on this momentum going into Saturday’s meet.
The team will need another solid outing from the freshman as well as its other runners to do well this Saturday.
Quintana said at the beginning of the season he had an idea of who would be running in his top group and that he feels comfortable with who he used last weekend.
He said the Sun Devil’s focus this week is on continuing the strategy they employed last weekend and getting rest for those that need it.
“The biggest thing is keeping them healthy, that’s going to be one of the biggest challenges for us,” he said.
The team is focused on this week’s meet, but all of the things they do this week and beyond will be in preparation for the Pac-12 championship meet in Colorado in October.
Quintana said that based on the talent on this year’s team, the only thing he thinks would keep the Sun Devils from making the NCAA championship later this year, could be injuries.
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