The men’s cross country team travels to Texas A&M Saturday for a meet, which the coach and players say will reveal how they compare to other Texas schools and will serve as training for upcoming conference and regional meets.After finishing second in the North Texas Invitational, cross country coach Eric Heins said he was pleased with the team’s performance, but said he will continue a strenuous training schedule.
“We went into last weekend tired, and we’ll go into this weekend tired,” Heins said.
He said his training philosophy is to run as much as possible early in the season and during the summer so the team is prepared later in the season to do well at conference and regional championship meets.
Senior Alex Morris said Heins, who came to TCU this season, is working the team much harder than previous coaches. He said last weekend’s second place finish gave the team incentive to keep training – even if that training includes running about 75 miles each week.
“It was a confidence booster,” he said. “It shows that we belong at the top of the meet.”
Heins said one of the challenges with Saturday’s meet is that the team has never competed at Texas A&M before so they don’t know what to expect from the course like they do in other meets.
“We’re kind of starting from scratch,” he said.
However, Heins said the 5-mile course is relatively flat, something that should benefit the team since last weekend’s course included hills. They have also continued to train for incline running this week.
Heins said the hardest thing for runners to overcome is the mental part, being able to say, “Hey, I can finish this.”
Senior J.T. Reinert said he thinks being able to run as a team and being able to talk to other team members helps each runner to stay motivated.
“Being able to run as a group helps us stay strong,” he said, adding that this brings a depth to the team, which he said he hopes will allow them to score more points at Saturday’s meet.
Morris agreed and said he is motivated to keep up his endurance through a race, because he doesn’t want to let down his team members.
He said Saturday’s race should let the team know where they are in comparison to other schools.
“We’re going to compete hard and see where we stack up,” Morris said.