The men and women cross country runners went to Fort Hayes, Kansas to run in the Sam Plum Invitational with 24 other teams.
The women came in ninth place across the muddy track, which in reality is actually a nature preserve.
The cross country team suffered greatly due to the mud that engulfed the track in the Sam/Plum invitational, making it very difficult for athletes to run the course and even more difficult for them to hit their designated times.
Despite the setbacks of mud and shin deep water, 15 runners earned new personal records
Head coach Marc Bierbaum was excited for his runners and thought that they ran really well. However, there are things to be approved on.
“We could have been a little bit more focused on the starting line,” Bierbaum said. “I would have liked to see us be a little more competitive on both the guys and girls side.”
The runners took the weather in stride though, as no one complained and everyone was excited. Western was prepared and ready to take on the race. Bierbaum stayed enthusiastic and was just as excited to see how the runners would fair against the muddy course ahead. Having two extremely difficult courses behind them, they came in prepared for the weather after the lightning and heat of their previous races.
All runners had high hopes of fast times as the course they were running is known for its timing, but the mud slowed the runners down and nullified the stereotype of this field, leaving some runners disappointed despite their personal records.
“When you get weather like that, you have to take that out of the equation, and just compete,” Bierbaum said.
Both teams are still freshmen teams and are working to get better with every meet. They are learning more each meet they attend.
“We’ll be better in two weeks, and we’ll be better in the two weeks after that,” Bierbaum said.
Megan Gillen confirmed the bad condition of the field, and that it did not live up to its stereotypes.
“I think the meet went well over all, but we all expected to run faster times,” Gillen said. “Some people did PR but the weather made it more difficult to do that.”
The men and women runners have been practicing really well and are done with their regular season. They will be going to the MIAA Championships in Warrensberg, Kansas on Oct. 21.