Cross Country: Eastern holds time trial during practice for training

Thursday, October 16 2008 - Evansville Invite

By: Brandy Provaznik/Staff Reporter

Posted: 10/16/08

The Panthers donned their race attire and held a time trial as part of practice on Monday afternoon in order to "simulate and stimulate," head coach Geoff Masanet said.

"We want to simulate what racing feels like and just practice some of the anxiety that goes with putting on a uniform, putting on your spikes and the expectations of running fast and hard," Masanet said.

The time trial distance was shorter than that of an actual race, but the speed and pace was supposed to be comparable.

Freshman Claire Dau said sometimes in high school a runner has more than one meet a week, which keeps them fresh and race ready as well as keeping the adrenaline level up.

"It is just another way of getting in a hard workout, but it is also going to help us to be more mentally prepared for Saturday's meet," Dau said.

Panthers working on confidence levels

Another thing the time trials were going to help with is the team's confidence level, junior David Holm said, and that is an area where the Panthers seem to be struggling.

"Right now, we have got people stepping to the line very uncertain and nervous about what man they are," Masanet said. "It just seems like on race days a lot of them have question marks above their heads."

Extra runners perform well at Notre Dame Invitational

Although Masanet said the team didn't do so well collectively at the Notre Dame Invitational, he said there were some team members who ran well but weren't in the main race because of limited space.

Sophomore Matt Dettloff and freshman Matt Feldhake placed 33rd and 37th, respectively, in the men's open race.

"The open race was a great race," Masanet said. "It wasn't just an easy, blow off race by any means, and they competed well and were fairly dynamic."

Gamecocks' transfer practicing with team

Jacksonville State transfer Ryan McKay, who placed third in the Ohio Valley Conference Championships last year for the Gamecocks, is now a member of Eastern's track team and has been training with the cross country team.

Since Jacksonville State doesn't have a track program, McKay is using his last year of NCAA eligibility to run distance races for Eastern's track program.

McKay ran cross country for four years at Jacksonville State and will have to run unattached for Eastern because he doesn't have any cross country eligibility left.

Junior Aaron Iaun said having McKay run unattached should be a big asset to the Panthers on Saturday.

"He is another body up front that just helps to kind of push the rest of us along," Iaun said.

Brandy Provaznik can be reached at 581-7944 or at

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