The cross-country team ended its season at the Southeast NCAA Regionals Nov. 14 in Louisville, Ky. EP Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky.
33 men’s teams and 38 women’s teams were hosted at regionals. A total of 448 men and women were in attendance to contest the Southeast Regional title.
The Murray State men’s cross-country team finished 27th out of 33 teams while the women placed 28th out of 38 teams.
The men posted the sixth smallest split of the day between their first and last finisher.
What the team lacks in high placings, it makes up with consistency. More importantly they are young, improving and excelling in a field of runners which includes representation from some of the top schools in the country, said Head Coach Jenny Severns.
Severns said she is excited about the development of the team. This year only one female runner will graduate.
Severns is working with several talented freshmen and a large number of experienced juniors.
“This year has been really smooth with training,” Severns said. “The team just seems to get better every day. I was really happy to avoid injuries all season. We never tried to do killer workouts, but every day the team put in the hard work.”
Severns said the team’s effort in training and races suggests the future is bright for Murray State cross-country. With the high returning number, Severns is hopeful for a good season.
“We finished a lot better consistently over the course of the season,” said Severns.
She said she is happy with where they are in the season because they beat teams like Notre Dame.
Both teams continue to show consistency despite how hard it is to be a long distance runner according to Severns.
“Place-wise we were the same in OVC, but at regionals we were way higher,” Severns said. “I am really excited to see where we go in the future. Our freshmen are running really well and they have lots of time to develop.”
Lucas Prather, junior from Mahomet, Ill., said the new training regimen that the cross-country team has adopted is showing up in the form of better performances in races.
“The weight room training was completely different this year,” Prather said. “We have been doing more training in the pool. I was prepared as best I could be this year. I ran my personal bests in 10k runs this season. The team prepared themselves the best they could to be ready for races.”
Prather said the season has many positives, but he is not letting himself get complacent.
“The guys are running their best races of the year,” Prather said. “At the end of the season everyone is happy with how it ended, but nobody is jumping for joy. There are teams we want to beat badly. After this year, everyone knows there is so much more improvement we can make with our new approach. I am looking forward to having good spring training to prepare us for next fall season.”
Story by Alex McLaughlin, Staff writer