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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Cross Country closing the gaps, ready for Oshkosh

The Grinnell College Men’s Cross Country Team, commonly known as the Purple Roos, placed fourth overall at the Brissman/Lundeen Invitational Sept. 26 in Davenport, IA.

The invitational yielded close results, with Dan Krauss ’12 finishing 12th out of almost  400 runners in a time of 25:53.5 with David Montgomery ’10 barely behind, finishing 13th in 25:54.8. Other notable performances included Noah Delong ’11 (20th), Alex Reich ’11 (53rd), Shyam Deshpande ’11 (57th), Chris Wilson ’11 (62nd) and Grant Reed ’13 (73rd). 

 Though it’s midseason, a time when in the past, many runners have been injured, the Roos are staying healthy, running fast and hoping to solidify the gaps between the top five runners to create an unstoppable force.

“Everyone who started the season healthy has remained healthy,” Davis said. “Sam Calish [’10] had a really bad ankle injury and he’s looking to come back soon.” 

Since injury hasn’t been a problem, the Roos are instead focused on tightening the gap between their top running groups. “We just need to start closing the gap between our 1-2-3 and 4-5 [runners],” Chris Wilson ’11. “One through three are all really close together and so if Shyam [Deshpande], Alex [Reich] and myself can just get up there it’ll be good.”

Kraus, part of the top-three pack, said that the gap between these two groups could be closed largely through training strategies. 

“[In] the workouts we [did last Tuesday] … normally you have your time that you’re trying to hit but [Tuesday we did] three minutes hard and two recovery and the 4-5 were just trying to stay up there with the top three,” Krauss said. “It’s about breaking that mental barrier and thinking ‘Okay, I was up with them in that workout, I know I can be up there with them [in the race]’.”

While practice helps the fight to close the 4-5 gap, it also allows Krauss to play off Montgomery this week’s Midwest Conference Performer of the Week, and intensify their practices.

“It’s good for me to have a training partner,” Montgomery said. “We both push each other in workouts and I think we’re running much better because of each other.”

According to his runners, Head Coach Will Freeman is optimistic about the season, and especially for the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational, which takes place in Oshkosh, Wisc., on Oct. 17. 

“I think [Freeman] is excited for Oshkosh because it’s a flat, fast course,” Krauss said. “We’re going to bust out some crazy-fast times.”

In preparation for Oshkosh, this weekend the Roos will send runners to Waverly, IA to participate in the Wartburg invitational.  The top ten will be running but not competing in order to keep the emphasis on Oshkosh.

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