On Saturday, Sept. 10, the men’s and women’s cross-country teams won the non-Division 1 race at the University of Central Arkansas. This was the first race of the 2016-2017 season.
The women’s team had three runners place in the top five. Senior Sylvie Mueller finished second overall with a time of 14:4.2. Senior Amber Webb placed fourth with a time of 15:05.3, and freshman Hayley Baca placed fifth with a time of 15:09.1.
The men’s team held the top three runners in their 6-kilometer race. Sophomore Camden Barrett finished first first over all, with a time of 19:06.8. Junior Lawson Belcher finished second at 19:06.8, and sophomore Larry Lopez finished third with a time of 19:24.4.
As a freshman, Baca said that she was not as nervous as she expected to be.
“I felt very calm and relaxed,” Baca said. “College running and high school running are a lot different, and I think I’m going to enjoy it a lot more.”
Seniors Caitlyn McMinn and Sarah Kauble said the teams have only been training for two weeks, which, according to McMinn, is hardly enough time to be race ready.
“I think this was really just for us to learn how to work together as a team and race,” McMinn said. “But now we know where we’re at and what we need to work on.”
The women’s team is used to running five-kilometer races, so the four-kilometer race on Saturday was nothing they couldn’t handle according to Kauble.
“You can simulate a race as much as you want, but until you actually get on the field, you have a hard time figuring out how your team is going to do together,” Kauble said. “We’re learning how to run together. You learn what the other girls do and you can move as a unit.”
The men’s and women’s teams will race this Saturday, Sept. 17 in Memphis, TN.