Knight Invite encourages community in running

Photo+courtesy+Calvin+Sports+Information

Photo courtesy Calvin Sports Information

Twenty-one cross country teams will be competing this Saturday at the Gainey Athletic Complex in the first official meet of the season for the Calvin Knights.  Last year, the Calvin men took third place behind two top-of-the-line NAIA programs, while the women took first by 61 points.

For best team results, the Calvin runners all push one another to do their personal best.

“Our program puts an emphasis on the power of pack running,” said senior captain of the women’s team Paige McGahan. “When you are hurting, there are two or three other people who you know might be hurting just as much as you are running alongside them. It is the motivation you need to keep going.”

Several other runners agreed with her sentiments, especially sophomore Cassie Vince, who took first last year in the women’s 5k with a time of 17:40.7.

“You need a bigger purpose and goal.  I know that in the race all my teammates will be pushing themselves, and so it’s my job to push myself just as hard,” stated Vince.

Senior captain of the men’s team, Josh Ferguson, said it is the basic level of hard work and training that excites him about the sport.  Ferguson finished second among the Calvin men and 37th overall in the men’s 8k with a time of 25:58.8.

For the men, sophomore Zach Nowicki finished with the best time of the team at 25:15.3 and placed seventh overall.  His motivation is to be the best for his team: “it helps drive me in races and even workouts.”

“The most exciting thing overall is watching the team come together and grow more unified throughout a season,” added Ferguson.

This weekend’s meet is especially exciting for many of the runners, since it is on Calvin’s campus. They also noted that the course is very spectator-friendly. The team is looking forward to having the support of the Calvin student body behind them Saturday. The meet begins at 10:00 a.m.