Women’s: After a solid performance in the first NCAA qualifier of the season last weekend, the women’s cross-country team prepares for the Mesa Thunderbird Classic.
The team finished in 10th place overall, giving them a nice starting place as far as points go.
Standout junior Shelby Houlihan won the Roy Griak Invitational for the first time in her career, and it was only her second collegiate win overall.
Coach Ryan Cole said he doesn’t feel like his runners are going to get carried away with the result of the last meet, and he hopes they continue to stay focused on the long-term goal for the season.
“The team understood going into Minnesota that it was just one race and really there isn’t a big challenge of having people redial in,” Cole said.
Cole said the team will need to focus on resting and making sure injuries don’t hinder the team’s chances going into the bigger meets of the season.
Cole said the team as a whole has done a good job running together and mentioned that the freshmen have been a nice surprise.
“I just feel real good about the group and the chances they have to be a really successful program not just this year but down the road,” Cole said.
The team has another opportunity to gain experience this weekend in Mesa.
“I’m expecting a better outcome from a competitive standpoint, just because a lot of the girls gained really positive experiences at Minnesota,” Cole said.
Cole expects the team to run a team of five people in Mesa this weekend in an effort to give them more experience.
“It’s another opportunity for those girls to prove that they deserve a spot when the team competes in the later qualifiers,” Cole said.
Men’s: The ASU men’s cross-country team’s top-three finish at Griak put it in prime point position heading into the tougher part of season, specifically in two weeks, when the Sun Devils go to the Wisconsin Invitational.
Some notable performers this season include senior Garrett Seawell, who ran his best time ever in Minnesota last weekend with an 11th place finish and a time of 24:42.2 in the 8,000-meter race.
Seawell made a huge impact on ASU’s tremendous third place finish and the team expects others to contribute going into the remaining qualifiers.
Freshman Bernie Montoya continues to impress in his first year running at the collegiate level.
His success early on is a result of the determination and focus he has exhibited throughout training, prior to the start of the season.
Montoya will be expected to continue to improve as the meets become tougher closer to the remaining NCAA qualifiers.
ASU’s cross-country team competes in the Mesa Thunderbird Classic on Saturday, Oct. 12.
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