The William Jewell College women’s and men’s cross country teams recently wrapped up their season. The team experienced some challenges, as well as some triumphs.
The women’s team ran well, with notable performances in the Jewell invitational (second place) as well as in the ESU invitational (fourth place). As for the men’s team, the team was not large enough to score in any meets.
Both teams faced challenges throughout the year, and had to compete with a small number of people, making competition especially difficult.
Sophomore business administration and spanish major Danielle Regnier said, “Our team is three sophomores and three freshmen, with one junior, so it’s a really young group, which means less experience.”
Junior psychology major Jonathan Morris describes a similar situation faced by the men’s team.
“As a team, especially for the guys, we were extremely small. Small enough to the point where we couldn’t even score in a cross country meet due to not having a full team,” said Morris.
Despite the small numbers, the team viewed the season in a positive light.
“I think [the season] was successful in helping us gain experience,” said Regnier.
The men’s and women’s teams both dealt with various injuries throughout the year, which was especially challenging considering the small size of the team, even at full health. Regnier also describes this as a learning experience, and their success through perseverance as a confidence booster. “Many of us battled various injuries, but we’re a strong group and we always pulled through.”
As the season went on, the team dynamic evolved, and by the end of the season, both the men’s and women’s teams were a very tight-knit group.
“At the beginning we weren’t all that talkative, kinda went through the daily grind by ourselves. But about 2 or 3 weeks in we had a dinner at the coach’s house, bonded a lot and from then on it was a pretty good time at practice. Everyone put in the work, got faster and just ran really well overall,” said Morris.
Regnier shares a similar sentiment, and credits much of the team’s success to team chemistry. “Our team became very close this season. The chemistry we have from training and racing together is amazing. We supported each other a lot and I think that helped immensely during the season. We started as an inexperienced, young group but we finished as a family,” said Regnier.
All in all, the teams’ experience this cross country season was a positive. Both the men’s and women’s team gained valuable experience and built a team chemistry that they hope will serve them well in future seasons.