Friday, September 19, 2008

Poor performance motivates women

Issue date: 9/19/08

By Anthony Fenech
Staff Reporter

The goal for the women's cross country team is simple after a poor performance last Friday at the Spartan Invitational, - improve.

The team runs today in Western Michigan's Bronco Invitational at Three Rivers to compete in its first scored meet of the year against fellow intrastate rivals Western and Eastern Michigan.

"We've had a real good week of practice," said coach Karen Lutzke. "Our workouts this week have been geared towards what we need to do as a team to get better, and that's learning how to run together and push each other."

Senior Amanda Rudert believes that today, the team will put last week's subpar effort in the past.

"We weren't very happy with how we raced last weekend," Rudert said. "We're very excited to make a comeback this weekend and turn in some good times on a fast course."

Last Friday, Rudert paced CMU with a time of 22 minutes, 38 seconds in the 6K. However, the team disappointingly increased the gap among its top five runners.

"There were a few things that we weren't doing the best that we could - specifically pack running - and having our gap between one and five getting smaller," Rudert said.

After a team meeting Monday during practice this week designed to re-evaluate where they stand early in the season, CMU concentrated on running more as a team. The method not only pushes themselves, but their competition.

Rudert also echoed Lutzke's thoughts on challenging herself more in races.

"Sometimes I get afraid of going out too quickly with the lead pack and that's something I'm working on," she said.

Rudert said that during practice this week, she was working on starting quicker and establishing herself with the lead pack. Lutzke expects the entire team to bounce back today in the 5K meet.

"I expect everybody to do well and to run together and push each other," she said. "We want to do our best each time we're out there and nobody's perfect. But I really think we're refreshed and ready to go on Friday."

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