The men and women’s cross country teams opened the season Sept. 13 at the UC Riverside Invitational.
The fastest male runner from Chapman at this meet was junior Chris Reid, and the fastest woman was sophomore Cory Stemper.
Michiko Yee, sophomore mathematics and history major, said this race was the first one for some of the runners.
“The team did well, for a lot of the girls this is their first race,” Yee said. “I was really excited, because they’ve been working hard at practices.”
In mid-August, the team received an email announcing the leave of assistant coach Brett Halvaks and the hiring of Rick Glenn. Halvaks took up a coaching position at his alma mater, California Lutheran. Glenn brings experience coaching at Cal Baptist and Pepperdine, a D1 school.
Over the summer, each runner had workouts to do on their own, but didn’t come together as a team for practices until the first day of the fall semester when they began focusing on the UCR Invitational.
Junior Josh Nudelman said assistant coach Glenn has a strong emphasis on teamwork shown through specific workouts and drills the team has adopted.
“He jumped right in, giving us workouts, teaching us different techniques for breathing and ways we should hold our arms,” Nudelman said. “It’s not something you really think about but it is important.”
One of the new drills the team has begun doing has the runners lining up in a straight line and when the runner at the front says “go,” the runner at the back must run all the way to the front and then say “go” repeating the process.
“To also have one mind and one brain, working together and taking off of the energy from another person,” Nudelman said. “We’re using each other’s energy to become the greatest version of ourselves as runners.”
Sophomore Sara Wanous said her personal philosophies resonate well with Glenn’s.
“There’s just a lot more behind running besides the physicality,” Wanous said. “He really goes into the mental reasons why you do all these workouts, makes you very confident in your growth as an athlete. He’s done really well singling out what motivates each runner.”
Wanous expectations for the next race are to personally hit faster personal records and continuing to develop in that way, and as team to pull ahead in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
The next race is a 6K, different from the UCR Invitational’s events.
“I think the 6K will throw some of the new girls off. We’ll just have to make sure they stay strong the extra 3/4 miles,” Yee said.
The next cross country event will be the Pomona-Pitzer Invite Saturday, Oct. 4.