Aug. 12, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The lazy days of summer are nearly gone for the UW cross country squad, as the Cowboys and Cowgirls will begin preseason practice Monday.
Head coach Randy Cole and his 27 runners - 10 men and 17 women - start off the 2011 season next week with high hopes. The harriers will begin Monday with a run around the Laramie area, but will venture into the wilderness areas near Laramie during the week for training runs in the hills.
"This gives us a chance to come together as a team," Cole said. "The biggest thing (about early practice) is to start establishing team unity, start establishing some individual and team goals and introduce and reintroduce all aspects of our training."
Cole will assess the fitness levels of his runners with the first practices and form training plans for each runner. He also can direct them on simple aerobic runs to acclimate the newcomers to the high altitude of Laramie.
"We've gotten good feedback that people have put in their base training, so we're going to carry that over and get some good mileage runs," Cole said of the training strategy for his teams.
UW will begin the 2011 season with the Wyoming Invitational in Laramie on Sept. 2. The race will be hosted by Jacoby Golf Course. There will be boys and girls high school races beginning at 4:30 p.m., while the college women's races will start at 5:30 p.m.
The 2010 campaign was a successful one for the UW cross country program. The men won the Woody Greeno Invite for the first time in history, and finished sixth in the NCAA Mountain Regional. They return five letter winners, including Michael Banks, Nick Ekel, Ryan Griesbach, Greg Miller and Garrett Zans. Ekel and Miller were All-Conference selections, and Zans was the Freshman of the Year in the conference.
The women return letter winners in Christine Nelson, Felicia McAfee and Brooke Hughes. Nelson, the reigning MW Freshman of the Year, also received All-Mountain Region honors for her performance in the last race of the year. The best finish of the season for the women was a third-place effort at the Woody Greeno Invite.