The final stretch of the season is here.
Everything that the Rowan men’s cross country team has worked for this season is upon them as they enter championship season. The team did not have this opportunity last year with the cancellation of their season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been a great journey,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “Things may not have gone as smoothly as we hoped, but it has been great to be back and having a chance to win a conference championship.”
The team has worked extremely hard but knows that their season is far from over and that they still need to put in the work at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship meet this weekend.
“Like I said last week, I anticipate a close battle between us, Ramapo [College] and TCNJ [The College of New Jersey],” Coach Dimit said. “They are well prepared. We’ve worked on some things at practice, and we’re excited to go out there and execute and hopefully bring home a trophy.”
Coach Dimit recognized that this part of the season gets people going and gives them more energy.
“The excitement level is high,” Coach Dimit said. “Everybody looks forward to this time of the year, and this is the journey we’ve taken all year and we are close to the finish. And anytime you get there, you get excited to see what you can do in the end.”
The team is anticipating a big ending to their season, but also anticipates more in the future.
“This weekend we are trying to capture a conference title, and then we’ll move on to regionals where we hope to get some individuals [to] qualify for nationals,” Coach Dimit said. “This will help us build into next season, and even into the indoor track season, for a lot of these guys.”
Leading up to championship season, Coach Dimit talked about the expectations he has for the team in practices for the next couple of weeks.
“We just want everyone to continue doing what they have been doing,” Coach Dimit said. “We want everyone to show up, do what they should, continue to be good teammates to each other and do all the little things to stay healthy, fresh and ready to go.”
Throughout this season, both the coaches and runners have all built camaraderie between the team and hope that the depth of the roster will be an advantage for them in this final stretch. They are also hoping for a little luck when it comes to good weather conditions, but Coach Dimit is firm in saying that it’s not their focus.
“We hope that it is never a factor for us,” Coach Dimit said. “We practice in all conditions, so we always say that if weather is going to affect someone, it is going to be someone else.”
When Coach Dimit was asked about any worries, his answer was brief.
“All we’re worried about is where the other people are and making sure we beat them,” Coach Dimit said.
The team is chasing a conference title for the first time since 2017. They have worked all year for this part of the season and on Saturday, Oct. 30 it will begin with the NJAC Conference Championships held at Stockton University.
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