Even with a week-long steady rain, the CNU XC course at Lee Hall Mansion held up pretty well with only a few sloppy stretches. The women took one more run over the 5k version of the course and three Captains improved their course bests - Graciela Slyer (48 second improvement), Julie Machamer (18 second best), and Lydia Cromwell (29 second best). The men ended up running the full 8k course at the request of the NCAA Div. II schools in attendance. Andrew Benfer led four men to their 8k bests and one near miss that was a significant course best. Benfer's performance was his first sub-27 minute 8k effort, Sam Martin was a few seconds shy of his fastest 8k, but improved his course best by 90 seconds. Daniel Richard (19 seconds), Charlie Pruitt (1:19), and Matthew Margopoulos (49 seconds) all posted significant improvements over 8k. Both squads won the 5-team battle with solid packs up front. Pack running will be even more important next week as the Captains host the CNU XC Invitational with more than 200 competitors in each of the races, including NCAA Div. III defending Women's National Champions, Johns Hopkins University.
From Lydia Cromwell:
This week has definitely been one of those all-i-want-to-do-is-stay-inside-and-watch-netflix-while-drinking-hot-chocolate kind of weeks; due mainly impart to temperatures dipping into the low 60's and a weekly accumulation of 4.5 inches of rain. It is during these times that it is easy to become complacent with our training and increasingly difficult to muster the motivation needed to push through a tough workout, let alone a race. I believe Saturday’s race to be a perfect example of this, and great reflection of the work ethic of our program.
I can personally attest to the fact that as a runner, we tend to complain a little more than the average NARP griping over their “dreaded” 8am class. Sometimes I complain so much that I start complaining about how much I complain (go figure). However, I have still yet to find a productive resolution to my constant negativity and I’ve come to the realization that I shouldn’t be complaining about something I’m not willing to change. As student-athletes we are faced with so many daily choices that affect our teammates, performance, and even how we choose to color our attitudes.
But I am here to tell you that happiness is a choice.
We are not getting scholarships, we run because we love the sport, the competition, and the camaraderie. If we are truly focused on completing our task and winning the day inclement weather should be the least of our worries. I know many of us walked up to the line on Saturday with a lot of doubt and excuses in our minds (myself included) but in the race we realized we were able to overcome our individual battles and experience success as a team. Running in the mud and rain may not seem desirable at times but we cannot let that cloud our vision. We can either make the choice to enjoy a good mud run or be the stick stuck in the mud. Plus running in the rain can kind of make you feel like a bada**from a Nike commercial because it is seen as the ultimate sign of dedication.
As far as PRs go, they may not have been there for everyone, but joy was found in the journey. I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who did not run but came out to support! Regardless of whether or not it was required, I really appreciated seeing my track buddies cheering me on and knowing that I would gladly do the same for them.
Round Hill, VA (Woodgrove HS)
English and Communication Major
HS 5k XC Best - 19:41 (Glory Days Grill Invitational)
CNU #5 All-Time XC 5k - 18:57.92
CNU School Record - Indoor Distance Medley Relay
CNU Cross Country Sweeps the Captain Chris Invitational on Saturday Afternoon
CNU Cross Country Receives High Marks in Latest USTFCCCA Regional Rankings