Cross-Country Holds Strong: Loic Rossignaud & team prevail in Aggie Duels
By Cam Alsbrook
The morning of Sept. 25 was a bright one for the Cross-Country division of the Cameron Aggies at the Aggie Duels.
The Aggies saw all of its participating members in the top ten finishers for the event, with Senior Eduardo Gutierrez taking first place and Junior Loic Rossignaud taking second place.
Rossignaud says that the team’s determination to win was best showcased when they started practice at 6:15 a.m. nearly every day initially starting the practices without a coach.
“We have been able to run quite a few solid workouts that put us in a good shape for the Aggie Duels,” Rossignaud said. “We did a lot of ‘tempo runs’ that made me very good at running a fast pace during a long time, so I knew that, in order to perform well at the Aggie Duels, we had to keep a strong and consistent pace all the way to the finish line. It would have probably been difficult to win on a final sprint against other teams because of our lack of speed workouts.”
The team’s long-term endurance practice paid off, as it helped Gutierrez and Rossignaud establish a powerful pace against competitors.
“Before the race, my thoughts were focused on keeping a nice, relaxed pace.” Gutierrez said, “I was also a little anxious to run because I have not competed since February. I expected either Loic or I to win the event.”
Neither Rossignaud nor Gutierrez were surprised by the Aggie takeover, despite the lack of speed workouts.
The team had to take the lead from the beginning to avoid unforeseen issues from competitors, Rossignaud explained.
“Eduardo and I spent the first kilometer just looking at who was in the leading pack in order to control the race perfectly,” Rossignaud said, “without getting surprised by some competitors that we forgot to take into consideration.
“At this point, only one runner from Redlands CC was confident enough to lead the race, so without any doubt, we decided to go over and ensure a strong pace. It was definitely the right move to do because nobody from Redlands CC even tried to jump into this pace after a few miles we had the
race under control.”
The team celebrated at Medicine Park afterwards for the win, as well as for three birthdays the team was not able to celebrate together before.
Rossignaud noted that the team was practicing harder compared to last year during the summer alone.
“I feel like all our new recruits are really dedicated and follow advice from older runners that have extraordinary experiences,” Rossignaud said. “Nine runners from Cameron University in the top ten of this cross country was a
very good reward for their work, and I hope we can keep it that way during the upcoming races.”
The team’s average finish time was 27:37.80 seconds, with the first opponent finishing in seventh with a time of 28:37 seconds.
The results for this year’s duel for Gutierrez and Rossignaud are better than last year’s result, jumping from seventh and eighth to first and second respectively.
Graduate student Aggie Chris Dunn retained a third-place finish from 2019 during this semester’s Aggie Duel.
The team held together strong during the to-date height of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the current precautions followed prior to each meet the team seems able to weather oncoming obstacles with the current pace they carry.