MONTGOMERY, Ala. – When the Huntingdon men's and women's cross country teams step on the course to open the season on Friday, it will be the first competition of the program's new era.
After an absence of four seasons, Huntingdon cross country is ready to compete again.
The Hawks will make a short trip to Oxford, Ala., to begin the season in the JSU Strut's Season Opener.
Head Coach Dan August on starting the season: "Everyone is really excited to finally get this season going. There have been a lot of morning practices and a lot of work that has been put in already, and everyone is chomping at the bit to compete against other teams.
"There has been constant chatter (from our runners) about how their times line up with the last time they raced, so this will give us a good bench mark for our current fitness level. From a coaching standpoint, I am excited for our first meet to see how everyone handles a competition setting that includes Division I and Division II schools."
August on what he is looking for in the season opener: "I want to see everyone race smart and race to their abilities. This is going to be a very fast race with great competition, and it will be easy to get out too fast for the first portion of the race. I want them to run to their abilities, show mental toughness and compete. If we run times that are equal to or close to their PRs for the event, then we know we are in good shape for the rest of the season."
August on the expectations for the season: "My expectation for the team is to continue to put in the hard work that will get us ready for the conference and regional championships. Things are going to get tougher as the season progresses. Workouts will get longer and harder. My expectations are for them to stay mentally tough and keep putting in the work. This will get us ready for our conference championship."
August on the leadership of his upper classmen: "Milan Branch, Damali Thomas and Madison Rackley have done a great job of being leaders for the younger student-athletes. Even when they aren't vocal, they work hard daily and show everyone what needs to be done at practice."