It was his second time ever to compete in cross-country, and freshman Preston Newsome was the first Horned Frog to cross the finish line at the UTA Season Opener on Sept. 10.
Newsome earned 10th-place for men with a time of 21:15 for the four-mile course.
Overall, the men’s team placed third with honors at 52 points. Baylor earned the team title with 19 points.
It was the team’s second race of the season, and Newsome, who is from Lawrence, Kan., said he was just trying to get used to the conditions of cross-country.
He said he was not accustomed to running on an outdoor course or alongside so many other runners.
“[In] Cross-country, you’re out on the field and the terrain is a lot different, so it’s definitely something you have to adapt to every race,” Newsome said. “It’s just figuring out how fast to run and adapting to different situations.”
Newsome played soccer and ran track for Lawrence Free State High School, but never competed in cross-country because the sports’ schedules conflicted with one another.
Track was more structured with a set course and a set number of runners, Newsome said, so cross-country proved to be a challenge for him because he has had to figure out how to run tactically.
“It’s definitely refreshing to try something new compared to track because I’ve been doing that for the past four years, where you’re just running in the same circle all the time,” he said.
Newsome said he enjoyed running the longer race and felt he performed best as an endurance athlete.
Head coach Liz Wort said it was fun to watch Newsome grow as an athlete because he has so much natural talent and ability. Right now, she said, he is raw and has a lot of potential.
Newsome came to TCU to explore his athletic potential, Wort said.
“He wanted to compete in Division I athletics and get a great education, so [cross-country] kind of brought him here,” she said.
The men’s cross-country team has eight freshmen runners, including Newsome, out of 12 total this season.
“We’re really young, so hopefully we’ll be improving a lot this season,” Newsome said. “We definitely have good things to come.”
Wort said the time until the next race at the Cowboy Jamboree would serve as the adjustment period for these new contenders who have a new coach and a new team to get to know.
“A lot of them are just trying to adjust to college in general,” she said.
Wort said she hoped the team would develop a routine in the time until the team’s next race on Oct. 1 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla .
“Between now and then, we’ve really got a good opportunity to get some good training in,” she said.
Newsome said he was not sure what to expect at the Cowboy Jamboree because it is a bigger race than the previous two this season in which he has competed.
“I haven’t really ran in that elite of a race,” he said. “I’m definitely excited to have the opportunity to run against guys who will definitely push me.”