The Gustavus Women’s Cross Country team’s season is quickly wrapping up with only one invite, conference, and nationals left. Head Coach Dale Bahr briefly recapped the season.
“We were second at the River Falls meet behind Carleton who is ranked in the nation. We ran very well there and put together a good race as a team. We went to Saint Olaf and didn’t have the best of races but we still ran okay. We just had a meet at Carleton last weekend where the ladies came back and ran well,” Bahr said.
Senior Marit Sonnesyn is optimistic about the rest of the season
“We’ve had some ups and downs in our race performances as a team, but we’re hoping to put all the pieces together when it counts – at MIAC,” Sonnesyn said.
In order to win as a team you want the lowest score possible. The first five finishers from each team count for the team’s score. All five scores are added up and that is the team’s score. The sixth and seventh place finishers can push other teams back a few places. Any runner finishing eighth or beyond does not count for the scoring.
The top seven runners will compete at regions. All of the women on the team run the 6k at the same time. With only nineteen women on the team it is a smaller team than last year.
“Even though we are a little bit smaller than we have been in previous years, I think it worked out well because everyone who is here is very dedicated and focused on what we want to do and what we want to achieve,” Senior Lauren Shurson said.
The team is committed to their goal of finishing in the top three of the conference. There is a positive environment generated by the team.
“The fun thing is on runs we always talk to each other. We get to know each other and we are a tight knit group,” Shurson said. “Whenever I go to practice I let go of whatever I’m thinking about for homework later.”
The team has fun during practice but they put in a lot of work to be successful during their competitions.
“We were second at the River Falls meet behind Carleton who is ranked in the nation. We ran very well there and put together a good race as a team. We went to St. Olaf and didn’t have the best of races but we still ran okay. ”
—Coach Dale Bahr
“I truly believe all the ladies are on board with what the captains and the team wants to do. It makes coaching a lot of fun and it makes coaching very easy when everyone understands and everybody buys into what we are doing,” Bahr said. “I’m very proud of what the team is doing so far. Now it’s just exciting to see how it all plays out and how all the hard work comes together and how we finish at the conference meet.”
Staying healthy is key to have a great season. So far the Gusties have managed to stay on top of injuries and illness. Along with being physically ready for the races the team has to be mentally prepared.
“One of the things we talked about is believing in each other and focusing on running as a team not as individuals. That’s going to make us stronger. We’ve got a good team we just haven’t put all of it together at the same time,” Bahr said.
If any students are interested in joining the Cross Country team they should contact Dale Bahr to learn about expectations and get more information for next season. Good luck to the Women’s Cross Country team in their upcoming competitions.