Men’s Cross Country wins another WCC title and looks to continue strong year
By PJ Marcello, Staff Writer -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pilot men's cross country team raced to its 32nd WCC Championship in a row on Oct. 30.
The team has had a successful season thus far with top ten team finishes in all but one tournament and their most recent big first place finish in the WCC Championships. The team, which is currently ranked 15th in the nation, is looking to build on this momentum heading into Regionals and Nationals.
"Our best finish ever is seventh in the country," junior Matt Frerker said. "Our goal is to beat that and we have had a lot of improvement over the course of the season."
A lot of the improvement during the season comes from coaching and the hard work of the team as a whole.
"We've always had one of the best coaches in the nation (Rob Conner), and this team has put in a lot of hard work and dedication, and not only from the varsity runners," Frerker said. "We've had good senior leadership as well, which helps."
The team has also added a coach and some different workouts to help subtract time from their finishes.
"We have a new coach, Jonathan Riley who was an All-American," sophomore Charlie McDonald said. "He brought in some new workouts that has helped to improve speed along with some long mileage workouts."
While the season has had a fair share of positive results, the cross country team struggled through some late season adversity, although it still managed to finish on top of the WCC. The team was not only hurt with injuries, but also took issue with some course conditions on the notoriously hilly Crystal Springs Course.
"Alfred Kipchumba, our three-time All-American, pulled his hamstring in the first mile and was forced to drop out," Coach Rob Conner said. "This is exactly why I have not taken our best runners to this meet. The course is extremely hilly and is actually dangerous."
However, Conner was pleased with his team's performance and is looking forward to the upcoming meets for Regionals and Nationals.
"I was proud of how our guys came through under difficult circumstances. We essentially ran without our top six men and still won the meet," Conner said.
With the display of depth and the season that the cross country team has put together, this perennially competitive program shows no signs of slowing down.
The men will take their talents to the road again for Regionals in Springfield, Ore., on Saturday Nov. 13.