Rowan University women’s cross country ran on their home turf on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the seventh annual Border Battle event in Logan Township. The team finished 11th overall, competing with 35 other teams.
“It went exactly as we wanted it to go,” Captain Amanda McNally said. “We expected to do well and we did well. Some of us wanted to do a little better, but you have good races and bad races. Not every race can be the best race you have. But overall it went exactly as we planned.”
Head Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson was also happy with his team’s performance.
“Going into every race I tell them to do one thing,” Ringo said. “Which is to improve in your times and your placements, which they did. They were running faster than they were two weeks prior. It was a good day. I see a lot of upsides and a lot of potential.”
One runner who took her head coach’s advice was Anna Sasse, who finished 18th in the race and set a new personal record (PR) of 22:46.9.
“We did amazing as a team,” McNally said. “We had a lot of standout performances but especially Anna [Sasse] who got a new PR. I am really proud of her.”
While Ringo did see a lot of potential from his team on the day, he feels like there are a few runners that could have shown a little bit more in the race on Saturday.
“There are a whole bunch of them. A lot of them are freshmen,” Ringo said. “Would I like them to improve just like everyone else? Sure. And honestly, if you look at where they started and where they are now, they are so much better. But right now they are at a developmental stage, so they will be a big factor next year. But even getting to someone like Sha’lynn [Clarke] for example, this was the quickest she got to the one-mile marker and after that, she could not hang, because she burnt out too quickly”.
Ringo is hoping that this potential will come together two weekends from now when the team will be running at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships. He is already preparing them for the race.
“I like to practice a lot on the surface we are going to race on,” Ringo said. “I also am moving to more interval-type training. We are doing harder running and longer rest periods. Whatever the pace is down there at the NJAC [Championship], we will be able to deal with it.”
While Ringo is worried about the physical conditions, McNally is focused on the team’s mental space before the race.
“It’s all about having a good positive mindset,” McNally said. “There is definitely the potential of winning. We are capable of winning and it’s not like we are way behind everyone else. It is all about keeping that mindset up and keep telling ourselves we can.”
The team will compete in the biggest race of their season at the NJAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Ewing, New Jersey.
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