Written By: Christian Hornaday
Cross country, one of the most physically and mentally demanding sports, seems to also be one of the most underappreciated.
But over the weekend, Campbell Cross Country competed in Earlysville, Va. at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational hosted by the University of Virginia as Lawrence Kipkoech finished in second place and the team placed 5th overall in the meet.
“Im very proud of how hard each of these guys ran today,” said head coach Michael Kelly on the men’s team performance in Virginia. “In my four years at Campbell this is by far the best team performance I’ve ever seen.”
The full results can be seen here through GoCamels.com.
In our efforts to inform the public about some of the most unsung athletes on campus, we have given a voice to the largely unknown in a Q/A blog post with many of the best runners around.
Speaking for the Fighting Camels:
Junior Kelsey Rea from Pinehurst, NC, majoring in biology pre-PA.
Freshman Heidi Tuszkiewicz from Whitby Ontario, majoring in biology pre-vet.
Sophomore Lawrence Kipkoech from Kenya, whose major is currently undecided.
Junior Joshua Vermette from Apex, NC, majoring in marketing.
Q: What should students know about cross country?
Tuszkiewicz: “It takes a lot of dedication and it is harder than you think.”
Rea: “It is a mental sport, not just a physical sport. It takes a lot of dedication, because we have a lot of practices, a lot of early morning and afternoon practices. It is a team sport too, as much as people think it is an individual sport, especially our team because we all rely on each other.”
Kipkoech: “It is a very fit and healthy sport, and it requires a lot of hard work. It helps relieve stress.”
Vermette: “People don’t realize that it is a year round sport. We run 50 weeks out of the year, people think that it is just the fall. Our first race is this Friday (referring to the most recent competition) but we have been training since May or June.”
ICYMI: Highlights from XC’s win over UNCW
Q: How would you like to see students supporting cross country?
Rea: “When we do have some home meets, come out. There are places for you to stand and cheer us on and it does help push us and motivate us.”
Tuszkiewicz: “And the Camel 5K, students can run that race and get involved through that.”
Vermette: “That is hard since a lot of our meets are away. I think the biggest thing is that people could be a little bit more knowledgeable of the sport.”
Q: Fun facts about your team?
Rea: “We do pray before every race. We get in a huddle, it’s our ritual. We have dance parties. We sing on our runs, in the car, pretty much everywhere!”
Vermette: “We love to play disc golf!”
You can keep up with the Campbell Cross Country program on @GoCamelsRun, but here’s what one athlete is saying about the 2015 squad. Their next competition takes place on Saturday, October 3rd at the USC Upstate Duel Meet in Spartanburg, S.C.
Rea: “We have a good group of girls this year and a good dynamic,” before adding, “We are hoping to do well this season, and prepare for track season so we can score well in conference for both sports.”