The Coyote men’s cross-country team has finally gained full strength after a shaky, injury riddled start to the 2013 campaign.
The Coyotes finished the first tournament in last place at the Bison Classic in Fargo, N.D. Their next race resulted in a 22nd place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. With runners improving, the Coyotes have a week to prepare for the Conference Championships Nov. 2.
“Some people need to get healthy, but they’re at the point where they’re just about to break through,” sophomore Isaac Allen said. “Some of us are ready to work on speed to get ready for the middle of the race, which is where I need to work. (What we need to work on) is really individualized right now.”
After back-to-back second place finishes at both the South Dakota State Classic and the Tim Young Invitational, the men’s team is still working towards being a top finisher at the Conference Championship.
Senior Taylor Chapman noted that with only the Conference Championships and Regional Championships remaining this is the time of year to improve on the team’s base.
“This is the time of year we need to work on our speed to be able to close in the final 2000 meters,” Chapman said.
Chapman said the two biggest competitors the Coyotes face in the Conference Championships will be Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and South Dakota State. The Coyotes have failed to finish in front of the Jackrabbits at any meet this year, while they have yet to see IUPUI in action.
“SDSU’s been ahead of us all year, so we’ve just been slowly hammering at them,” Allen said. “We’ve gotten a lot better, even the last few weeks. If we just put pressure on SDSU we can hopefully come away with a win.”
Last year the Coyote men finished in second place behind the Summit League Champions SDSU.
“As a competitor you want to win,” Chapman said. “We have our eyes set on that, but we can’t take our eyes off IUPUI. It’s going to be a dogfight for the top three; we have to go in focused on our goal, which is to win the conference.”
While the men have a week off to prepare for the Summit League Championship, the women compete in the Mount Marty Invitational Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Yankton.