No. 25 West Virginia set for meet in Toledo
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 07:09
The newly ranked No. 25 West Virginia cross country team can feel itself getting stronger as the season gets into full swing.
Along with that new strength comes more intense practices and meets, which is just the pace the Mountaineers want.
The cross country squad heads into its most important meet of the year so far this weekend when it makes a trip to Toledo, Ohio.
Redshirt junior Sarah-Anne Brault sees this meet as an exciting time when the Mountaineers will get a great opportunity to compete at a high level.
"The tone is starting to get more serious now," Brault said. "This meet is actually going to be a lot harder. It really feels like the season is starting, and the reality is setting in. It is stil not the championship atmosphere, but it’s coming."
Brault not only feels like this meet will be challenging, but the entire season will be much harder due to the fact that several all-Americans from last year have graduated. She
knows that, along with senior Katie Gillespie and many strong freshmen, this team can still make a lot of noise near the end of the season.
"We lost a lot of girls who graduated, but it gives a different situation this year. Everyone is still really dedicated and strong this year," Brault said.
Heading to Toledo, the theme of the weekend will be to get the first at-large points of the season. This will offer the same opportunity that Penn State University gave the Mountaineers: a chance to get a look at their competition.
"Toledo is a meet for at-large teams and a chance to get the first at-large points of the season. It would be a lot of fun to get some points," Brault said. "Last year, this was a team meet for getting points. It depends who the other schools run to see how intense it gets. The Big 12 is not known for the cross country, so we will get to see them. It’s still really good to get some racing experience in for people who haven’t had any yet."
It is hard not to notice the talent on this year’s team, and it is an exciting time to be part of the program. What makes it even more exciting is their new national ranking, which Brault calls a nice surprise.
"I think it is pretty cool," Brault said. "We are usually underranked. It is a nice surprise to be on the rankings. It is hard for me to say how good we are, but it still feels good to be recognized like that. Hopefully we can improve it."