Cross Country places at back-to-back meets

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The University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s cross country teams travelled to the University of Southern Indiana on Oct. 25 for the Regional Preview.

The men’s team placed sixth overall, with senior Kameron Casey leading the Greyhounds with a time of 25:35.8 and a 22nd place finish in the 8k. Junior Joel Keller finished with a time of 25:46.2 and freshman Andrew Carr followed with a time of 26:16.1.

Junior Haley Havert led the women’s team in the 6k with a 14th place finish and a time of 22:06.2. Senior Jacklyn Howland and freshman Kieran Casey were the next Greyhounds to cross the finish line with times of 22:19 and 22:22.1, respectively.

Each week, Head Cross Country Coach Kathy Casey giver her runners a dose of positive mental attitude before big meets or just to keep up the moral of the teams. These can include activities, speeches and videos. According to Casey, these motivational tools are key  to a cohesive team.

“If you’re yelling and you’re on their case all the time, [saying] ‘why can’t you do this,’ ‘why aren’t you doing this,’ ‘you should do this,’  you’re browbeating them,” she said. “And internally they know they have the goods to perform. It’s just believing in yourself and letting them know you believe in them. That’s the big part of what I do.”

Coach Casey said she has seen steady improvements over the season and attributes some of it to her PMA exercises.

Keller enjoys the exercises and Coach Casey’s coaching style.

“I really like it [the PMA]. I wouldn’t want a coach that’s on you all the time and yelling at you,” he said. “She’s kind of like our mom on campus. We’re not all right by home so that’s kind of nice. You can always talk to her about stuff.”

This encouragement can pay off with faster times and better pacing.

“To see their faces when they get done and to see how happy they are . . . is really special,” Coach Casey said.

Junior Jasmine Al-Anzi said that she believes her season is going well so far and that she has made many of the improvements that she had been looking for.

“I think it [the season] is good. We don’t have as many meets this year, so it’s hard to tell on a weekly basis how you are doing,” she said. “But it’s nice to see improvement through the season. I think a lot of girls have improved throughout the season, [and] a lot of girls have felt more confident.”

While Al-Anzi does not set strict goals for herself, she said that she is always looking to improve her times and form.

“Goals sometimes scare me,” Al-Anzi said. “I know a lot of girls have pretty big goals, but I just wanted to get better throughout the season and have people to run with. [I also want to] have a good race, a strong race.”

Keller also has seen improvements in his times over the season and said that he is looking forward to the season’s bigger meets.

“I’m in a very good position to be both all-conference and all-regional as of right now,”  Keller said. “For a meet-by-meet basis, I just like to go for whatever award it is for that race, whether it’s top 10 or top eight.”

Coach Casey said that all of the runners’ goals are good and that it helps them keep their seasons in perspective.

“I always tell the kids that really the place and times coincide,” Coach Casey said. “So race the race . . . You’re going to get a good time, and you’re going to be amongst good racers because our conference is full of talent at this point.”

The Greyhounds’ next meet will be the USI Regional Preview at the University of Southern Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 25.

According to Coach Casey, both the men’s and women’s teams have been working hard and are in a good place for the race.

“I think they’re going to achieve some times that they were like ‘wow’ again,” she said. “They’re just at that point where they’re ready to pop some really good times,  and they’re at a good place mentally of where they’re at.”

Both teams will compete in the GLVC Championship at Lewis University on Nov. 8 at a time to be determined.

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