Written by Kyle Dawson, Circulation Manager
The Valdosta State men and women’s cross country teams will travel to Danville, Alabama, on Oct. 24, for the Gulf South Conference Championship, and head coach Todd Smoot has high aspirations for the teams’ performance in the meet.
“I think there will be a number of personal best times run this weekend at the conference meet,” Smoot said.
The men’s team is currently ranked sixth in the GSC, but Smoot said he thinks they can finish fifth based on performances in last year’s championship and meets earlier this season. The women’s team’s goal is to finish better than last year, where they came in fifth.
The women’s team has been led by sophomore, high finisher, Tyra Holloway who came in second overall at the Division two Georgia collegiate championships in Milledgeville, while the men’s team has been led by sophomore Nicholas Schofer who came in thirteenth overall at the same meet.
The teams have been preparing for the conference championship since the beginning of training. The women have ran about forty miles leading up to Saturday’s meet while the men have ran about fifty-five while also working in the weight room. Coach Smoot says that the intensity has been picked up in the last two weeks prior to the meet.
Another obstacle that the teams will face is the time it takes to get to Danville. They will go to Decatur, Alabama, in order to get in a workout the day before the meet in order to have adequate recovery time.
“Travel is a part of every sport. The travel time will exceed eight hours. We will stop every 75 minutes or so to walk around and stretch their legs.” Smoot said.
The championship meet will begin at nine a.m. at the Oakville Indian Mounds in Danville.