East Tennessee State University’s men’s and women’s cross country teams had their second meet of the season on Friday at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational, traveling with 13 men and nine women.
With strong finishes in their first meet, the men in fourth and the women in fifth, they were looking to put up a comparable performance at Virginia Tech.
In the end, they came out the same, with the men finishing in fourth and the women in fifth again, but they accomplished the feat against many ranked teams that weren’t looking at ETSU as competition.
Matthew Warriner (Maryville, Tenn.) is a senior runner on the team and is excited about the freshmen coming onto the team and the team aspect that has surrounded them to prepare them for the meet. With it just being meet number two, it is still early in the season, but there are not many races in general.
“Even if it’s not the biggest meet, we’re going to this season we still have to show up and make a statement,” Warriner said.
Warriner finished 59th in the meet against Virignia Tech, while nine other runners finished in the top 50.
Freshman Adam Bradtmueller (Sarsota, Fla.) came out the best of the men in 24th place with a time of 25:44.60.
With the women, there were three top 50 finishes.
Senior Victoria Hutchens (Stuart, Va.) was first to the finish line for Bucs, finishing in 15th place overall. Junior Macy Carrier (Bluff City, Tenn.) came in close behind Hutchens to place 17th overall.
Carrier recognized going into the race that it was longer than the first, and it is important to be prepared for that and to not be negative once fatigue sets in.
“Coach will always tell us to visualize the course and visualize yourself running well on it,” Carrier said on how she mentally prepares for races.
“When we train throughout the season we train for the longer distances,” said Head Coach George Watts said.
So the longer distance, an 8k for the men and a 6k for the women, was no shock to the Bucs. Watts said it was important to beat as many people as they could, and to recognize that while the runners may be more tired now, they won’t be by the end of the season.
“We don’t overcomplicate things if we can help it,” Watts said. “Go out there and run as fast as you can run and hope it comes out how you want it to.”
The Bucs have their next meet in Louisville, Kentucky on October 1st.