There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Trinity cross country team coming into this season, as they feel this is one of their most diverse lineups in years. Their season began well as they were able to come away victorious at their first meet.

This year’s cross country team is coming off of a splendid 2016 Track and Field season, and expectations are noticeably high. In fact, junior runner Michael Erickson feels this could be the best season of his career.

“I have never been more excited for cross country season. Usually with cross country runners, there’s a divide between track and field and cross country. I generally enjoyed track and field more, but the lineup this year for both the men and women team is exciting. I think this could be the best men’s team ever in Trinity history. This is one of the highest mileage summers, if not the highest, the team has done collectively. Generally, more miles have positively correlated to better performances so this is a huge improvement from last summer,” Erickson said.

Playing a huge role in the Tigers’ confidence is the hard work they put in during the offseason.  Thanks in part to the training schedules provided by their coaches, these runners believe a trip to Nationals is within reach. Senior runner Austin Brown changed some things up this offseason and is anticipating that these changes will lead to the success they are looking for.

“This summer I actually followed Coach Daum and Reich’s summer training by doing easy runs, workouts and core. In fact, a lot of the guys followed the Coaches’ summer training plan because a lot of us don’t want to repeat getting third at regionals. We want first or second, so we can go to Nationals as a team. Last summer, myself and a lot of the guys only did easy runs which really set us back,” Brown said.

As athletes on Trinity’s campus settle into dorms and sink into routine, a ton of emphasis is put on time management. While both the men and women’s Cross Country team share in the anticipation of what is shaping up to be a memorable year, each of

them is also constantly reminded of the challenges and rewards of playing a varsity sport for Trinity. There is a consensus among the team that if they want to be successful, they will have to be disciplined with their time in and out of the classroom.

“Our biggest obstacle is usually just time management. We’re all taking heavy course loads and so of course balancing school and cross country and sleep is always a difficult task. But overall, our team is very good at excelling in both school and cross country”, said junior runner Rachel Hanes. “I think the most rewarding thing about running for Trinity cross country is pushing yourself to be the best you can be but also seeing every single one of your teammates do the same. It’s really rewarding to see the team accomplish so much every season.”

Whether or not the team can live up to

the hype remains to be seen. They continue the season with a meet this Saturday, where Trinity will compete at the Our Lady of the Lake Collegiate Invitational, hosted by the Windcrest Golf Course, on Sept. 10.