ASU’s women’s cross-country will face top-10 ranked UA on Friday, Sept. 20. With eyes on their rival, the Sun Devils know that this weekend’s race is not the most important this month.
Coach Ryan Cole said he believes this week’s meet in Tucson will be another good tune-up for the team as it prepares for the first real test on Sept. 28 in Minneapolis at the Roy Griak Invitational.
Although ASU will want to save its best for the Roy Griak Invitational, Cole believes ASU will compete hard against its rival.
“Any time you put on the uniform and line up, it’s kind of a big deal, “ Cole said.
Cole said the team will go in with a controlled strategy and a focus on running together for the meet in Tucson, mixing freshman Kala Stone and sophomore Adriana Olivas Friday into the rotation to get different combinations of people running together.
Cole said the challenge is with keeping the team focused on each meet, making them equally important, so the team is always competing hard. Still, the focus is the first qualifying meet at the Roy Griak Invitational, where Cole said he hopes to have his top runners ready and available.
Cross-country is a sport of stamina and seizing the right moments in order to capitalize on your opponent’s mistakes.
In its first meet of the season, ASU finished second at the George Kyte Invitational with some surprising results, like Ryan Herson finishing second overall to give his team a strong placing at the event.
Herson and company will continue their quest to make the NCAA championships beginning on Sept 28. at the Roy Griak Invitaional in Minneapolis. But before they can get there, ASU tunes-up in Tucson facing a tough opponent in UA.
Another runner that finished strong was freshman Bernie Montoya, who in his first collegiate race finished in the top 10.
Montoya came in as the team’s most highly recruited athlete for cross-country and track and field.
For Herson, Montoya and the rest of the team this week’s race in Tucson will give them one more full week of training before the important events begin after Sept. 28.
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