The Pacific University cross country teams are looking to capitalize on their momentum as they prepare for competitive championship bouts. Head Coach Matthew Lydum said the entire team has been steadily improving throughout the season and are healthy and ready to take on competitors.
Though both the men’s and women’s teams look to be headed in the right direction for future competition, Lydum said the teams’ continued success will be directly impacted by how each athlete can continue training.
“The main thing is not to get hurt,” Lydum said. “As that will slow the improvement that comes with continually progressing with the workouts.”
According Lydum, two key runners who will help lead the charge for the Boxers this post season include senior Stephenie Spencer and sophomore Nick Slenning. Over the past four years at Pacific senior Stephenie Spencer has received multiple All-Conference Awards and garnered national recognition.
“We’ve got high hopes on both the men’s and women’s side,” Spencer said. “And our attitudes will dictate how far we go this season.”
The success of the cross country teams this season is strongly attributed to the positivity and strong work ethic of each runner.
“So far everyone has shown us that they are willing to dedicate not only hours of training, but great mentalities as well,” Spencer said. “It’s certainly not easy to be positive when you’re training all summer in 100 plus degrees, coming back to school and running in smoke, and then having the weather quickly change to our usual rainy Oregon weather.”
Because both teams have shown they can thrive through any type of adversity, Spencer is optimistic about upcoming competition. The cross country teams will compete Saturday, Oct. 28, in Walla Walla Washington.