UTSA cross country setting a new standard

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

After hundreds of miles logged throughout this past summer, the men’s and women’s cross-country teams are ready for their season opener, which is on Friday night Sept. 3. 

10 months ago the men finished eighth at the Conference-USA Championships while the women finished 12th, deeming it a disappointing season. Though every team in any sport has its ups and downs, the cross country teams are waiting for their “ups” to be during the conference championship season. With all athletes now a year older and coming off a good recruiting class, the momentum is destined to switch in the Roadrunners’ favor. 

Both men and women filled up their roster with promising talent. The men in years past always had a relatively young roster. Still, with key transfers, additions to the depth, along with all the returners increasing their experience, the team will be able to be more competitive. 

Senior and three-year captain Harrison Wade said that the addition of three transfers and three true freshmen makes the team closer in talent, and adds to the depth when an injury does occur. “The team is closer than it has been in previous years,” Wade said. “There are the two or three guys up front, a gap, a couple more guys, then another gap. This year, we run more together.” Having the slower runners catch up to the top runners helps the team in scoring, which is what UTSA has lacked in the last several seasons. 

Another key is to do all the little things: such as lifting weights, working out the core, keeping up the mileage and stretching. After a long summer and during an even longer season, it is easy to slack off. When asked about his mindset for the season, Harrison said he is more focused on enforcing the standard and maintaining it all season long. “I want to keep the standards up this season. Everyone has to keep giving perfect effort.” 

The women have also added recruits, and with three-year Captain Abby Balli returning, they will be focused to be in the top half of conference competitors. 

The Roadrunners have a five-race schedule including the conference meet. With a pair of races in San Antonio and another pair in College Station, the ‘Runners look to redeem themselves after a disappointing season and shock the rest of Conference-USA.