Nov. 1, 2012
Bearcat runners focused heading to NCAA Regional
By David Boyce
Northwest Missouri State men’s and women’s cross country coach Scott Lorek looks at his rosters and what the runners have accomplished this fall and feels good about how they will perform Saturday in the Central Regional at Missouri Southern.
The Bearcats are coming off a disappointing outing nearly two weeks ago when both teams finished fifth at the MIAA Championship.
Both teams had high hopes, particularly since the conference meet was at the Maryville Country Club.
The pressuring of playing host to the conference meet might have taken a toll on a few runners.
Senior Brittany Poole was the highest finisher for the women, taking eighth.
On the men’s side, senior Ryan Darling took fifth and sophomore Drew Keefer placed 11th.
“It really is all mental,” Lorek said. “Training has always been going well. It is not really a physical issue. I think we had a little pressure issue that we did not handle as well as we could. Some people handled it well.
“We need everybody on and we didn’t have everybody on. That is what we are working on.”
The Bearcats definitely have runners capable of topping their performance at conference meet. On the men’s side, freshman Nolan Zimmer took 14th in the conference meet and on the women’s side, sophomore Anne Herbert placed 12th.
Lorek, though, is not going into the regional meet projecting where individuals or the team could place if they all run to their potential.
The top five women’s team, the top four men’s team and the top three individuals not on one of those teams advance to the national meet, which is Nov. 17 at Missouri Southern.
“I have learned not to worry about those questions,” Lorek said. “Our focus is on trying to run well and let the chips fall where they will.”
The Bearcats have spent this week getting mentally and physically prepared to run the best they can. On Monday, they went through a strenuous workout. They will have a much lighter workout today.
“Going into the regional meet, the pressure is off because we are not going into it in the position of favorites or anything like that,” Lorek said. “We are familiar with the course and it is a good course to run. That helps us, too.
“The theme we’ve been using is we are climbing the ladder again. We’ve been very good at climbing the ladder and not so good at standing on the top.”
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