Training in order for Falcon cross country as season approaches

Brad Frank and Brad Frank

Coach Cami Wells says she’s doing everything possible to ensure that her cross country teams are ready for competition this fall.

She gave her runners a summer training packet to complete, and last week the teams began practicing. The teams have three weeks to practice before the season begins.

‘We have to do summer training because three weeks of practices isn’t enough time to prepare for the season,’ Wells said. ‘But, if everyone has done what they’re supposed to over the summer, preseason practices will be slightly easier to get through, and we’ll be that much more ready to do the best we can during the season.’

The Falcons began two-a-day practices Monday in preparation for their first meet of the season – a dual meet at Toledo Sept. 4.

During two-a-day practices, the morning practice consists of a long run, and the afternoon session includes a shorter, timed run.

‘We run longer in the morning because it’s cooler, and the timed run in the afternoon rebuilds their sense of competition, which they may have lost over the summer,’ Wells said.

Wells admitted the first meet at Toledo is designed to be a warm-up for Mid-American Conference competition. Nonetheless, she’ll be pushing her runners very hard throughout the preseason.

‘Our goals entering the first week of practice are, first, to determine whether the athletes did enough during the summer to prepare for the season, and, second, to take advantage of some team-building opportunities since most of them are seeing each other for the first time in a while,’ Wells said.

Wells said preseason practices are designed to see where everyone is progress-wise after training all summer and to ‘weed out’ those who won’t be able to survive the season. Wells also said weightlifting will be incorporated into preseason training and will continue regularly during the season leading up to the MAC Championship meet Oct. 31 at Ohio University.

In addition to running, Wells said she encourages her team to communicate with her as much as possible.

‘They do a pretty good job of letting me know about injuries,’ Wells said. ‘Not only does that help them recover more quickly and properly, but it also lets me know how hard I can push someone in practice.’

The men’s roster has no seniors entering the season, but Wells isn’t troubled by their lack of experience.

‘They’re a close group,’ Wells said. ‘They made a lot of progress last spring, so I’m really excited to see how they’ll do, especially because they’ve had their best summer of training yet.’

The women’s team is coming off what Wells called a ‘disappointing’ fifth place finish at the MAC Championships last season. But her outlook is nothing but positive for this year’s team.

‘We have a good senior class, and although they’ve been consistent the past three years, we were disappointed with our fifth place finish last season at conference,’ Wells said, ‘We’re ready to improve upon that finish this year.’

This season the Falcons have two home meets, the Mel Brodt Invitational Sept. 12 and the Falcon Invite Oct. 17, and will also travel to the Bronx, N.Y., and Delaware, Ohio this season.