The Rowan Men’s Cross Country team is approaching yet another important meet as they try to keep their season going for another week. The team is preparing for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Metro Regional meet held at DREAM park in Logan Township, their home course.
The team is currently ranked fourth in the region but Head Coach Dustin Dimit is looking for them to make a jump.
“We’re hoping to propel ourselves into at least top three in the region, hopefully top two,” Coach Dimit said. “We need to execute better than we did at NJACs [New Jersey Athletic Conference] and hopefully run with more consistency to accomplish what we want to accomplish this weekend.”
Coach Dimit said that the team has a plan that they want to execute and that it is one the team is familiar with.
“We are going with the same game plan we had for conferences,” Dimit said. “We need to execute it better, we need to get our top five guys to finish top 20-25 and they know that.”
Coach Dimit added that, with this being a smaller meet, it will be easier for the runners to see the field and know where they are at.
“Smaller races tend to help the top guys because they can see the other runners and determine where they need to be,” Coach Dimit said. “Running is just as much mental as it is physical, so we just need to execute this and put ourselves in that position.”
Coach Dimit was asked about the difference maker for this weekend and mentioned one of his top runners as the leader.
“How Kevin Lauer runs is always important. Whenever he runs well the team runs well,” Dimit said. “He’s one of our leaders when he’s healthy and at his best, and we need our leaders, about 5 guys, to perform and execute well.”
He also added that the team could easily have three guys qualify for Nationals.
“It’s going to be up in the air, about four or five guys in our conference will qualify so we need about two or three in that top five in the conference,” Dimit said.
After failing to execute their plan and falling short in the NJAC Championship meet, Coach Dimit said the team responded well.
“The guys were frustrated, they knew it was there and it had slipped away but we worked on some things in practice both mentally and physically and hopefully that can fix the mistakes.” Coach Dimit said. “If we want to be in the best position then we have to put ourselves there.”
Looking back on the season and the journey the team has taken so far, Coach Dimit recognized the team’s growth as his favorite part.
“Seeing the team come together and improve has been great,” Dimit said. “Just seeing the growth throughout the year is always rewarding and not just as runners, but as students and as young men is always the best part.”
He also mentioned what he thinks has been the brightest spot of the season for him so far.
“That first meet was the best moment,” Coach Dimit said. “Just being back out there with the guys after not being able to have a season last year was great and very exciting, [I’m] always grateful for those moments.”
Coach Dimit is hoping to have those moments continue for another year as the team gets ready for what could be their final meet of the season. They will compete again on Saturday, Nov. 13, at the NCAA DIII Metro Regional meet.
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