The GC men’s cross-country team starts the 2018 season ranked No. 3 in the preseason PBC and No. 8 in the southeast region. With three new freshmen on the team, GC’s cross-country team is looking to improve and become a closer group.
“The main goal this season is to improve each week and get better every race,” said head coach Steven Cary. “This season we really want to focus on closing the gaps between our runners and to run as a pack and start the race in the front.”
Both the women’s and men’s cross-country teams ended the summer with a team retreat where they had the opportunity to grow closer to one another and set goals for their 2018 seasons.
“Our team goals are to win conference and to make nationals, both of which would be firsts for the school,” said senior Austin Campbell.
The men’s team attended the annual VSU Border Clash, hosted by Valdosta University at Freedom Park in Valdosta. The team came out with a fourth place nish and had four runners nish in the Top 25 on the 7.25K course.
This season the team has added an extra weight training day, which not only helps them get faster and stronger, but also prevents injuries. Overall, the team is not changing much when it comes to their practices: they are sticking with their normal training and tempo runs.
“As a team this year, we are really emphasizing making each and every run and practice matter, even if we aren’t feeling great, making sure our effort and attitude are in the right place because those are two things we can always control, and just being intentional about everything we do to make sure we put ourselves in the best position possible this season,” Campbell said.
Cary said that one of their biggest “blessings” this season is the team’s group of freshmen.
“They respect the upperclassman, but they are not afraid to compete and challenge them,” Cary said.
Campbell said he wants to be a leader for these younger members of the team as a part of his personal goals.
“Personally, my goals are to consistently place as one of our Top 5 runners and to set an example and be a leader for the younger guys on the team, both in cross-country and outside of the sport,” Campbell said.
In the upcoming season, the men hope to be one of the top region teams and place a spot higher than they did last year. The team wants to make rsts for the school, which they plan on doing with consistency in workouts and training runs.
“The men are more fit this year because of the progression training runs and their attitude at practice,” Cary said. “They want to get better, and they know what they have to do.” The cross-country team will host their 2018 GC Bobcat Invitational on Oct. 20 at The Farm.