After heading due south for the Butler Twilight meet last weekend, Ball State Cross Country will be heading just up the road to Marion, Indiana for the IWU Twilight meet.
Not having a consistent pack throughout meets last season, head coach Rachel McFarlane has aimed for the team to run in various packs this season. According to McFarlane, the team has caught on in the early season.
“We have a solid six or seven girls that could be interchanged any day at practice or any race,” McFarlane said. “We’re just making sure that core group finds each other during the race and works together. We are just hoping for good performances from the group as a whole.”
Looking to execute this plan of staying in pack, McFarlane has taken the team to Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana for various practices. The team’s run consists of of a 2.5 mile hilly loop and hill sprints. McFarlane explains that this workout will prepare the team for any terrain, including the flat terrain they will see at IWU on Friday.
“Just knowing that this is a smaller meet, it is just as important and we have to remember that. Just showing up and being comfortable and competitive with the other teams that are there, whether they are in conference or out of conference,” McFarlane said.
With a new plan implemented to stay together throughout the race and getting the first race of the season out of the way, the team is confident that they will have a strong race on Friday.
"Last week, our first race, was the first time a lot of them had written race plans or just had thought about anything about racing before their race,” McFarlane said. “We’re just going more in depth with that in being able to execute and make decisions which can change their race from being OK to good to great.”
The Cardinals will start their IWU Twilight Classic race in Marion at 6 p.m. on Friday.