The Utica College men’s cross country team finished 18th of 41 teams, while the women’s squad finished 23rd of 37 teams Saturday at the 2015 NCAA Atlantic Regionals.
Freshman Tyler Wright led the men’s team finishing 53rd place out of 288 runners while the women were led by senior Ashton Villeneuve, placing 43rd out of 266 racers.
In order to understand the true athletic feats both teams accomplish, each meet it is important to know just how hard both of Utica College’s cross country teams work. The men’s and women’s teams collectively run at least 50 miles collectively a week when they are training. Some runners even break 70 miles in a week during the season, including meets.
According to senior Kyle Cairns and Wright, while in season the two can see anywhere from 60 to 70 miles in a week, and maybe more, so it is important to ice and get treatment from the trainers to stay at the top of their game. Fellow runner Villeneuve who sees just as much running time, rightfully pointed out that in order to be able to complete this type of running, it is important to be healthy off of the course.
“Many of my teammates utilize ice baths and heat. We also get our legs rolled out,” she said. “Personally I attempt to eat healthy and really stay hydrated in order to perform at my best.”
Her teammates also stressed the importance of maintaining proper eating habits and recovery workouts to gain everything they can from each run.
“After a workout I traditionally get rolled out and take an ice bath,” freshman Kaitlyn Phillips said. “Throughout the season I don’t drink soda or eat big amounts of junk food, a treat here and there is ok, but never two days before a meet.”
However, fellow classmate Renee Lewis emphasized the importance of rest throughout the season.
“The best recovery is definitely giving your body a rest by cross training, which for me is usually biking,” she said. “Taking time to stretch is always helpful too.”
Despite going through a coaching change the Pioneers continued to run hard all season. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams improved from this season and move forward for the future.