Wright State’s men’s and women’s cross country teams were off to a running start at the Flyer 5k in Kettering on a day that was quite hot and humid as another season got underway.
The University of Dayton hosted the event that featured 96 male and 82 female runners from nearby colleges.
Going against stronger teams like Ohio State and Louisville, the Raiders had some respectable performances, most notably was sophomore women’s runner Brittany Bailey in 22nd overall. Several other runners finished in the top 60.
WSU assistant coach Rick Williamson summed up the role this meet played in the bigger picture for the team’s vision later in the season.
“A lot of teams do a lot to prepare for this meet, but we use this meet to prepare for the rest of the season,” he said. “We normally aren’t that great here and we run pretty slow, and then every week we’ll get better and better. So we use this meet just to get ready for the season.”
Freshman runner Andrew Lake and the top team finisher in 45th, is just becoming familiar with this sort of training method.
“I’m totally new to this training style where we’re training for the end of the season, not for the actual first meet where if you train for the first meet you will burn by the end of the season where you want to do good,” Lake said. “So it’s good to get a starter.”
With a team that is fairly young and inexperienced the results were certainly acceptable, according to junior runner Kameron Powell, who was the second team finisher in 57th.
“This meet to me I think was a good starting point for us because everyone is rather new and we’re just starting to get better I suppose, so I feel like this is just a good start,” Powell said.
Bailey believed this could be a successful season based on the team’s results in the humid conditions.
“We ran the best we could in the conditions, but I think that this is definitely a start towards our team being the best that it ever has been,” said Bailey.
Women’s junior runner Vanessa Hopwood, who was the second team finisher and was 35th overall, ran this course in high school, but found this meet to be a much different challenge.
“I feel stronger, but there is more competition in college, so it’s harder.”
Overall Williamson thought this was the best performance he has seen out of each team in his three years as coach.
“I thought we ran well,” he said. “This is my third time at Wright State being at this meet and this was probably the best overall performance, both men and women. It was solid; we’re not going to beat Ohio State or Louisville. They’re a little bit too big and strong for us.”