On Friday, the University of Miami men’s and women’s cross country teams will prepare to face off against a myriad of talented Atlantic Coast Conference schools in the ACC Championships. This year, the teams have a newfound confidence heading in to the championships.
The tournament will be held in Cary, North Carolina on the campus of NC State, which also happens to be one of the powerhouse cross country schools in the ACC. The competition will consist of ACC schools facing off in multiple cross country races of different lengths. Each individual is given a score based on their time and the scores are compiled to calculate a total team score. The team with the highest score will be declared the ACC cross country champion.
UM has struggled when competing against other ACC teams recently, but with the addition of distance coach Cody Halsey, who took over distance runners in 2019, the young talent and experienced veterans are looking to make an impression on the ACC competition. Halsey previous was the assistant coach at Oklahoma State.
“She brings the energy and brings so much knowledge and experience,” Langlois said about coach Halsey. “And coach [Amy] Deem also… our head coach, is also the one who turned things around.”
Under normal circumstances, the team would have a minimum of four meets before the conference tournament, but due to COVID restrictions, the teams have been unable to leave the state and have been limited to just two meets. On top of that, there is no NCAA championship this year. Because of this, the student-athletes are putting everything they have into this tournament.
While the younger athletes have missed out on the chance to acclimate to collegiate competition from the lack of competitions this year, senior Emma Langlois has not been hindered by the lack of competition and is excited for the ACC Championships.
Langlois is in her fourth year as a member of the cross-country team and feels that she is hitting her stride this season. In the previous two meets this season, Langlois hit her personal record and finished in the top quarter both times in the 5k.
“Definitely [this one] hands down,” Langlois said when asked which team she feels is the best in her four years at UM. “We can do some damage.”
The women’s cross-country team this year in particular, is very young, but Langlois does not see that as a hindrance and expects them to perform well on race day.
“They can do huge things on race day, they just have to believe in themselves,” Langlois said.
As for the actual race, Langlois said Clemson and Boston College are the two teams they are “gunning for.” Beating the powerhouse NC State is a reach for this season, but hitting new heights is a distinct possibility.
Between great coaches, young energy and experienced leadership, fans have reason to be excited for Miami’s cross country team in tomorrow’s meet.
Featured Image via Twitter, @CanesTrack.