Long-distance speed fuels cross country

Sometimes it’s about how long one can maintain one’s speed.

Tasked with running long distances over rough terrain at different times of the day, the cross-country team competes in races as long as five miles.

“South Florida has some of the worst conditions for cross-country running; the heat, humidity, and flat landscapes are not ideal,” rising senior Charles Michel said. “At the same time, having to prepare in those conditions makes racing in colder places up north easier.”

Cross-Country season traditionally goes on during the fall semester, beginning in early September and usually ending just before December comes around.

The team kicked off its season at the Greentree Invitational in Miami, where the men finished fourth and the women third, before traveling to locations such as Gainesville, Orlando and Raleigh to finish the semester.

After both teams finished 12th in the ACC Championships, they were invited to the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time since 2006.

“Even though we didn’t place as high as we wanted to, I believe the season was a success,” rising senior Katharine Woodard said. “We showed we can all run well together, and on a good day, we can be really good.”

Although seen as an individual sport, Woodard attributes real success to being able to rally behind your teammates.

“No one wants to let anyone down,” she said. “We all have to do well for the team to do well.”

As for next season, the team hopes to ride its momentum and advance.

“There may be some uncertainty with the new freshmen that are coming in,” Michel said. “Still, most of last year’s team is returning, so we should be ready for a good season.”

Ernesto Suarez may be contacted at esuarez@themiamihurricane.com.