The Rowan men’s cross country team on Saturday ran in the Border Battle at DREAM Park in Logan Township as they hosted their first meet of the season. The top finisher for the team was Kevin Lauer, a junior, who clocked in at 26:29.6 to finish 50th.
“I would actually say the team had a tough go on Saturday to be honest,” Lauer said. “Although the numbers look good and make it seem like we had a good race, I would actually say the team had a tough go at it.”
Something that Lauer added is that the team just seemed a little sluggish but is looking ahead.
“The guys pick each other up,” Lauer said. “We’ve done the work and now it really just comes down to us coming together and being the team we can be.”
Lauer knows the confidence is still there for the team and stills expect to perform well at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships.
“We’re definitely a second half of the season team, and that is what we prepare for,” Lauer said. “TCNJ [The College of New Jersey] and Ramapo also usually run well at the end of the year so we will be watching those guys but we’ll be focused on executing our plan.”
Their Head Coach Dustin Dimit feels the same way.
“We always peak well at the end of the year,” Coach Dimit said. “We expect to contend and give ourselves a chance at winning but it will be a tough battle between ourselves, Ramapo, and TCNJ.”
When asked if there have been changes in practice, Coach Dimit didn’t indicate there were any.
“We don’t want anybody doing anything extra. They already know what’s ahead and are prepared,” Coach Dimit said. “Motivation for our sport starts in the summer and stays the same while the guys put in the work and if they don’t then they won’t be where they want to be by the end of the year.”
Coach Dimit also mentioned the importance of health going into the end of the season and said that they expect to be fully healthy for the big meets coming up.
“This is the part of the season where health can play a huge part,” Coach Dimit said. “We luckily haven’t had any serious injuries or anything so far this year and we just hope that it doesn’t bite us at a bad time.”
As the final meets and the NJAC Championships approach, both Lauer and Coach Dimit recognize how important this final stretchis.
“We know that these races really mean something,” Lauer said. “We’ve really been hyping it up in practice and getting amped up for what is coming.”
Coach Dimit echoed that statement.
“They know it’s a big race,” Coach Dimit said. “We usually like to focus more on Regionals and having guys qualify for Nationals than Conferences but we definitely want to win a conference title on our journey towards that.”
The team continues to push each other in practices as they look forward to the biggest stretch of their season. They will rest and continue to simulate conferences and regionals in practices this week and will return to competing on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Stockton University.
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