Story by Tyler Boydston
Video by Paola Troche
Cameron University’s cross-country team has started off its 2012 fall semester in stride.
The cross-country team began this semester with the Midwestern State University Stampede in Wichita Falls on Aug. 30, the cross country team placed second at the season opener.
Head Cross Country Coach Casey Kreger said that the first race of the season was a good start that helped his runners prepare for the rest of the semester.
“For the first race, it was a good way to get the first college race in and get the nerves taken out a little bit, so they could prepare for the longer races,” Kreger said.
After the MSU Stampede, freshman runner Cody Campbell was named the male Lone Star Conference Cross Country Runner of the Week for the first week of September.
Campbell led the cross-country team to second place with a time of 17:31.79 and a fourth place finish in the 5.6k race. The MSU Stampede was also Campbell’s first collegiate race.[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/49175172[/vimeo]
According to Coach Kreger, the team’s training over the course of the first school weeks and individual training during the summer led to the team’s success at the MSU Stampede in August.
“Since we are a fall sport, we’re allowed to have practice a few days before school starts,” Kreger said. “Over the summer we have training plans that the guys do on their own so they come in, and then we progress from there. Over the semester we train through all the meets, and then we start to cut back and refine our work-outs.”
This fall is Kreger’s first full semester as the head coach of Cross Country at Cameron, though he began as the head coach in the middle of the spring 2012 semester as the second head coach in the program’s history.
“Last semester I was kind of scrambling around a little bit trying to learn everything,” Kreger said. “I’m still learning every day, learning new things, but it’s a lot easier now. Things are pretty much run the way I want them to run, and things are going really well.”
Though Kreger has returned to the team this year, he said it will still be a different atmosphere for the team as a whole.
“Our team dynamic is very different, but a lot of the training is the same,” he said. “I just execute the training a little differently. A lot of it is team building and communication with the team. Our team is our family, and everyone has to be out there helping each other along the way.”
With the team’s second place title at the MSU Stampede, Kreger said to expect big things from the cross-country team for the rest of the fall 2012 semester.
“It was a great start, so I am expecting big things this year — things that the team has never done before — and making school history,” Kreger said.
The team will be running in competition again on Sept. 29 at the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, and at home on Oct. 20 for the Lone Star Conference Meet.
To prepare for the rest of the season, Kreger said that the team has to be ready, and thanks the training that the runners had during the summer for their success.
“You have to be ready,” he said. “You have to train during the summer. At the end of the season, it all comes down to summer training.”