Cross Country Blog: Patrick Maag - Sept. 6, 2011

Patrick Maag finished fourth at the Crusader Open.

Cross Country Blog

by junior distance runner Patrick Maag:

This is the first in a series of blogs by the Marquette University men's and women's cross country teams chronicling the 2011 season. This week catches up with men's junior Patrick Maag who placed fourth overall at the Crusader Open on Friday, Sept. 2.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011

The cross country season got off to an official start with the Crusader Invite this weekend in Valparaiso, Ind. With a shorter than normal 5-kilometer race, our team was looking for a little more of a test than the 2-mile alumni run from last weekend. Although a very different race than the mid-season 8k, the race was a good indicator of what our team is capable over full-length competition.

Unfortunately one of the major stories of the meet was the weather. With real temperatures reaching over 90 degrees and a heat index of near 100, everyone had to keep close tabs on how they were feeling, as heat can become a major factor in a longer race.

As a whole, the men’s team ran well. Putting seven guys in the top 10 we scored a mere 22 points, only seven points from the perfect 15. Everyone seemed to enjoy the course and the racing environment in addition to taking first as a team. Some of my teammates were a little more affected by the heat than others and didn’t have the races they had hoped for, but they will have chances in the coming weekends to regain some confidence.

Although the original race distance was shortened from a 6k, the meet turned out to be a good character building experience. The pains of racing are now in full swing as races only get longer and the competition tougher from here on out.

The women’s team placed third in a slightly more competitive field, led by freshman Kenzie Vicker in 13th place.

Coach Nelson told us before the race that the course at Valparaiso would probably be the most difficult course we would race all season. This bodes well for the rest of the year as I think most of the team enjoyed the course this weekend. As we have taken care of the most challenging course of the season, everyone is looking forward to taking advantage of the more manageable courses (and most certainly more friendly weather) to come.

Now the team looks to Wisconsin on Friday, Sept. 9 where we race our last short course before regulation courses, and the focus is on staying healthy to stretch our season as long as possible. As Coach Nelson says, “You cant PR if you aren’t on the starting line.”

- Patrick Maag




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