The Collegian
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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Men's cross country team reflects on its indoor season

<p>Junior Trey Burleson running in the 2020 IC4A Indoor Championships in Boston. <em>Courtesy of Richmond XCTF</em></p>

Junior Trey Burleson running in the 2020 IC4A Indoor Championships in Boston. Courtesy of Richmond XCTF

The University of Richmond men’s cross country team wrapped up its indoor track season and is hoping for future racing possibilities. 

The team capped indoor track in early March with the annual IC4A competition located in Boston.

Junior Trey Burleson and sophomore Noah Campbell competed against other athletes from predominantly larger schools in the Northeast. Burleson ran a 4:09.62 in the mile, while Campbell ran a 14:34.09 in the 500m, beating their respective personal bests.

The winter and spring seasons consist of fewer competitions, said senior Miles Clikeman, captain of the men’s cross country team.

The primary meets that the cross country team would have competed in this spring are the U.S. Track & Field (USATF) and Collegiate Running Association (CRA) championships. The spring season only lasts through April, making it much shorter than the fall season, Clikeman said. 

In the fall season, the Atlantic 10 Conference and NCAA regionals are the most important meets, senior Will Alpaugh said. 

Although the season is canceled, there are some events outside the NCAA in which runners can compete. These events are a part of the CRA and are scheduled to take place in May, according to the CRA website. The events include a 12k race and a one-mile rotary. 

With major races, such as the Boston Marathon and Monument Avenue 10K postponed or canceled, runners are holding out hope that the May events will take place, Alpaugh said.

“All track races for the spring have been canceled, so seniors like Will and myself won't be able to race again,” said Clikeman. “The NCAA has granted winter and spring athletes an extra season of eligibility, but most seniors like myself already have plans to graduate and aren’t in a position to take advantage of it. At the moment there is a lot of shock and some anger going around.

“And I know we’re all disappointed that we can’t race or even train together until next fall, but we’ve been in contact with each other to try to keep spirits up.”

The fall cross country season and winter indoor season went well. They were punctuated by nearly the entire team setting at least one personal best this winter, Steve Taylor, the head men’s cross country coach, wrote in an email to The Collegian.

“[The indoor season] was a great indication of where our men would be during the outdoor season,” Taylor wrote. “Sadly, we will not know since the season has abruptly come to an unfortunate end.”

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Training is more difficult with the team being physically apart, Clikeman said.

“Especially in practice, everything is team oriented,” Clikeman said. “We run in packs during practice and make sure everyone stays together. While we do focus on our individual times and records, we are not going to get to where we want to be unless we have each other. That is what makes us stronger.”

Contract contributor Miles Goldman at miles.goldman@richmond.edu.

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