September 17, 2007
My name is Whitney Mays and I'm a senior distance runner at UAB. I run track and field in the spring and cross country in the fall. So basically we're in season all year long! I just found out that I have the privilege of writing this blog for the fall cross country season.
Let's be honest ... a lot of people have never been to a cross country race or didn't even realize it was a separate sport from track and field. So hopefully reading my blog will help you understand more about this crazy sport and will keep you updated on our fall season.
Out of all my four years at UAB, this year's team is definitely the most experienced team we have had. From NCAA experiences, to our all-region and all-conference performers, to the 2006 Conference USA Cross Country Championship, it is safe to say that we have our goals set high for this season. The seniors hope to end our career with a bang and the sophomores and freshmen want to continue to raise the bar high for the future.
We started our season three weeks ago at the Belmont Opener. We were without a few of our top runners due to injury. We tied for third and had four girls place in the top 25. This past weekend, we competed at the Crimson Classic. Despite the rainy and humid weather, the course was manageable and the meet was a success. Overall we had major improvements from our first race. Not just individually, but more importantly as a team! We won the meet and also placed our top six girls in the top 15. One of our major strengths is the ability of packing close together, especially in bigger races when it is to your advantage to have a solid pack. The Crimson Classic was a great way to build our team confidence.
Next we head to South Bend, Indiana where we'll race at the Notre Dame Invitational. Personally, this is the race I look forward to every year. Partially because I'm from the area (Bloomington, Ill.) making it one of the only races where my family and friends are able to come and watch. I also like the meet because the atmosphere at Notre Dame is so awesome. The course is fast and the traditional fall weather usually factors into personal records.
We will be training hard this week and take the weekend off from racing. Our team is getting excited for our travel to Notre Dame, especially because we are finally FLYING!!! Try racing a 5k after a 12-hour charter bus ride.
Hopefully this blog will make you feel more keyed in with what's going on with the UAB cross country team! Thanks for all your support and read again next week!