Men’s cross country co-captains Jarrett Felix and Charlie Kline wrote about their recent encounter with two of the best to ever compete in the sport at Muhlenberg.
This past weekend the Muhlenberg cross country teams had a Q and A session with former Muhlenberg track and cross country standouts and Hall of Fame couple Will Elson and Karen Mount Elson. Karen had just been inducted that day into the Muhlenberg Hall of Fame, and Will was there to support her. It was special for them to take time out of their busy day to talk to the teams.
One of the quotes that Will told us was “When you’re behind, no one can see you coming.” This idea embodies the men’s cross country team’s spirit at this point in the season. Last season ended in disappointment, but behind the leadership of new coach Doug Finley, we feel that there is potential to surprise a lot of people this championship season.
Both Will and Karen gave us a number of tips about both preparation for a race and race strategy. Karen explained that earlier in her collegiate career, she was stressed out before big meets and was unable to overcome the pressure of the moment. By her junior year, she realized the importance of making sure to relax and laugh before the start of races to avoid getting worked up.
Will stressed the importance of following a routine and individualizing prerace preparation. Both ideas have been taken to heart by the men’s team; we hold a variety of prerace quirks to keep us relaxed, everything from polo shirts to pink socks.
Hearing from such successful alumni has inspired our squad as we approach the two most important meets of our season. The team is looking to improve off of a sixth-place finish at Conferences on Saturday at Haverford, and aiming to dramatically upgrade our 18th-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championship in Dickinson on November 10.
We may be underdogs going into the postseason, but when you’re behind, no one can see you coming.