Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Vikings to be tested at ONU Invitational

The Augustana men’s cross country team has started out the year strong as they take a second place finish at Western Illinois Universities Early Bird Cross Country Invitational, while having two top finishers, Keith Sands and Tanner Osing, come in first and second place.
Their second place victory was above Western Illinois University, an NCAA Division 1 school, and they want to bring the same success into their second competition on Sept. 12, during the Olivet Nazarene Invitational in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
The Invite is one of the more intense competitions of the season, as there will be Division I and Division II schools running alongside the Vikings.
“I think we will be very competitive this year,” said head coach Paul Olsen, who has been the coach since the mid-60s. “I am hoping to be in the top five of this invitational, but in order to do that, my lead runners should be finishing around 25 minutes.”
In order for his top runners to make that time, the team has been incorporating a five phase training system to stay on track throughout the year.
Phase one of the training system is over the summer, having the veteran runners complete between 70 and 90 miles of running a week.
Currently, the team is in phase two of their training, which is a mixture of high intensity and lower intensity days.  On lower intensity days, they run 5 to 7 miles at a pace around 7 minutes per mile. Their high intensity days are hard paced runs with very little breaks in between each.
“We don’t break from our training system, no matter the competition, because it is the best system,” said Olsen. “Sometimes individuals can make adjustments to their training, but as a whole, they keep to the same schedule throughout the year.”
Senior runner Mathew Simo believes the team is ready to compete well not only at this invite but all season long.
“We have been training all summer, and the team is looking very good,” said Simo. “I am very optimistic for this competition and the rest of the running season.”
Simo is a four year cross country runner for Augustana and has always liked this particular meet.
“I like it because it gives a good idea of how good our team really is,” said Simo. “If the team is able to compete with the bigger schools that are at this invitational, it shows that we are going to have a very strong year.”
Some of the expected top finishers for Augustana will be Osing and Sands, but also sophomore Stephen Lavelle, and Senior captain Alex Odenkirk.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Vikings to be tested at ONU Invitational