Rowan Men’s Cross Country Looks Forward to Hosting Border Battle

Noah Cziryak crosses the finish line. Cziryak is gearing up to compete in his second ever Border Battle. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

With championship season inching closer, the Rowan men’s cross country team looks to battle back this weekend as they host what has now become their most important meet of the season, The Border Battle on Saturday, Oct. 15.

“Yeah, it’s just the way our sport is,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “Every meet is the most important as we go … this one is more important because it’s later in the year.” 

“I think every meet is important,” senior Noah Cziryak added. “I think this one is a good one because it is our home course so we have something to prove and we definitely have to run well there.”

After underperforming at their previous meet, The Mike Woods Invitational, expectations are high as they look to get back on track with their team goals. 

“Our expectation is just for everybody to perform their best that weekend,” Coach Dimit said. “If they do that we should be able to beat some of the teams that we need to beat for some of our team goals.”

The team has so far traveled to Maryland twice and up to New York once, and have expressed their excitement to run at home and the advantages that they may have. 

“I think being on our home course, we’ve been there before, we know what to do, we know the turns, we know when to make a move and when not to make a move,” Cziryak said.

Coach Dimit adds that performing at home could give the whole team an advantage.

“It definitely helps that we know the course, we’ve been out there and practiced on it,” Coach Dimit added. “The strategy going into the week is to know which teams we should be running with and to go out there and execute the game plan and hopefully beat some of those teams that knocked us off two weeks ago.”

Although their performance at The Mike Woods Invitational dropped them out of the national rankings and dropped them two spots in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Metro Regional rankings, the team is confident they can find their stride in the final weeks. 

“I think we’ve been focused the whole time,” Coach Dimit said. “I think we just had a little bit of bad luck with our travel up to Geneseo and some of the other things that won’t be an issue with running at home and we’ll be good this week.”

“I think it’s a good group of guys,” Cziryak added. “I think it’s different from last year. I think it’s cool in the sense that we all feel like family. It feels like a family, we’re running for each other and not just running a race.” 

The family of runners will look to wipe away any doubts this weekend and finish strong in their final meet before the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship meet on Saturday, Oct. 29. 

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