WVU successful at PSU Spiked Shoe
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 07:09
The West Virginia cross country team is trying to work its way into midseason form. After a month of practice, the Mountaineers have started picking up the intensity, starting with the 6K race at the Penn State Spiked Shoe Invitational this weekend.
"It was very hot, so we all got a good sweat in, but a half hour before the race began, strong wind and rain came in," said senior Stephanie Aldea. "Penn State has a lot of hills and turn. It requires a great amount of fitness. This race was another great rust buster. It will set us up great for the regional competitions."
A race like Spiked Shoe can benefit the team in many ways. It not only simulates a real race, it gives the coaches and runners a way to gauge the team at that point in the season.
"We are right on schedule," Aldea said. "We had four girls that almost ran personal records. At this point in the season right now, that is a great sign. The conditions are not that great, but everyone is doing well. There are a lot of nerves, but the midseason cycle will start now, and that will give us great momentum. We have a ton of great energy."
Aldea takes the results from the Spiked Shoe with a grain of salt, though. She noted there are things the team can do better with as training continues.
"The common response after the race was that everyone felt great for the first three miles, but the last one was a struggle. We need to get the endurance up a little, and now that practice will be more intense, it will be getting up soon," Aldea said.
The endurance aspect is something head coach Sean Cleary will make sure his team fixes, but there is another problem Aldea said can only be fixed through running more meets: the challenge of running in packs for the first time.
"We all have to get used to running around a pack of runners – it is really important to run in the packs. There are elbows bumping and a lot of contact. That is the stuff we have to start getting used to," Aldea said.
The Mountaineers won’t be back in action for two weeks when they will race at Toledo. This week gives the team a time to relax a bit and heal up. West Virginia will try to compete for their first at-large points of the year at Toledo.