Taylor’s cross-country schedule seems to be in full swing as things look to be on the up and up for a full season.
“As of right now, we just move forward like normal,” said Head cross country Coach Quinn White. “When I say normal, I mean normal schedule, normal practice… we’re moving forward like we have a season. The big change is that nationals are in the spring.”.
White expressed his belief that they will have a starting conference meet this fall with four other meets prior. His goal is to be realistic.
“We want to be the best that we can be,” he said.“We have a lot of talent. We need to run each race at a time, trying to get better and to maximize the talent that we have.”
White has full faith that their goal is to get on the podium at nationals as there is that opportunity, on top of competing for a conference title.
The cross country team is running very well. The team is on high alert, as they have lots of good competition around them. Teams like Indiana Wesleyan and Huntington are also in the running to make a big push going into nationals. Getting anywhere from top four to top six in their conference will be hard, but the team has the skills to compete.
The women's team has seemlessly bonded even closer together throughout quarantine, as they try to make way for a good season.
When the season was cut short because of COVID-19, Schroder says it made them closer together.
“We (the womens’ team) tried to be really intentional about meeting together. We’d set up a zoom call each and filled each other in on what was going on…since we’ve been back on campus, we still made the most of our time on campus with a lot of team bonding and just know that so much can change overnight, so we are really just trying to make the most of what we have had together”
“One of the goals that I am shooting for is to break 18 minutes in the 5k,” Senior Livy Schroder said.
Schroder made the podium last year at nationals, finishing top 15 is the primary objective. In nationals, being in the top 30 is considered ‘All-American.’ She was 26th last year and wants to be even better going into this year.
Schroder says that the womens’ team is shooting for top four on the podium, as well the combined (men and women) team having a podium finish.
Men’s Senior runner Josh Roth is set to have another huge season, but it isn’t about the individual goals for him.
“We need to build off the success from last year. We need to train now and use that training to build off of to get success into April,” Roth said.
He believes that the men’s team has a chance to win nationals, as the team is bringing back runners that will have breakout seasons.
Roth had a stellar time at nationals last year, winning the 3k indoor race with a time of 8:25:70, a record broken by three seconds. He won a national title.
“I don’t want to do anything risky,” Roth said. “I just want to compete and build off the success from last year”.
He explains that getting some wins in the early meets can build up some confidence that will help the team do better throughout the season and into nationals.
Only time will tell what will happen with the season. Both teams are poised to have one of the best seasons in school history. With the runners that they have, there is nothing that can steer their goal out of the way. The Taylor Trojans are for real.