The Green and White runners will take on the most important 8,000 meters of the season Nov. 3 for the PSAC Cross Country Championships at Edinboro University in which runners from all PSAC teams will be competing.
The previous races this season have all led up to this one and the runners will be embracing the hype as they get into the right mindset going into the championships. This week, Head Coach John Papa says he has a desired plan for his runners this coming meet.
“Teamwork and running for each other and all of the other little mental aspects of the [sport],” Papa said.
Senior Josh Rader understands these mental aspects along with the rest of the team.
“[Rader] is very consistent in practice, in races, [and] he comes through,” Papa said.
Rader has displayed his consistency this season as he has led Green and White runners in the last four races and is a great example to the less experienced runners.
“You work hard year after year [like Josh], you’re going to get better and improve,” Papa said.
In a sport that requires mental toughness to push through discomfort, other runners will definitely be feeding off of his determination and the energy he brings in order to give their best.
In the weeks working up to the race, the Rock men will begin tapering in practice and cutting back on weight training so they are well rested and healthy come Nov. 3.
“We’ve added some pieces of the puzzle so far this year, but have not really put it together,” Papa said.
Using the previous races as a means of practice, Coach Papa is hoping all the pieces will fall into place next week at Edinboro.
After placing tenth overall last season at the Championships and after coming off of a first place finish at the Bill Lennox Invitational as well as a 24thoverall finish at the Pre-Nationals, the Rock men will be looking to build and improve upon their previous performances.