Hard work pays off for teams

The TCU men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete this weekend in the North Texas Invitational in Denton.”This is one of the smaller meets we will compete in this year,” Senior Katrina Zielinski said.

Cross country head coach Patrick Cunniff said this weekend’s meet will be very interesting.

“I have not received a final list of the number of schools who will be competing this weekend,” Cunniff said. “The level of competition will be determined by the schools that actually compete.”

Cunniff said he knows UNT, Texas-Arlington and several smaller schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth and north Texas area will be competing.

Cunniff said he is confident in his front runners but wants to see his three through seven or eight runners make an impact on the meet.

“I want to start to see progress so they can have a huge impact on important meets in the future,” Cunniff said.

Sophomore Matt Manly said the team has been working hard preparing for the meet this weekend as well as future meets.

“We work out for two hours a day in the morning,” Manly said. “Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we lift weights.”

Cunniff said the runners have gone through brutal training and two- to three-week phases in high volume and long, sustained training.

“We are focusing more on strength rather than speed because at the end of the season the men will be competing in a 10 (kilometer race) and the women in a 5 (kilometer race),” Cunniff said. “Strength is a high priority.”

Zielinski said the team has been doing a lot of workouts but also has been resting more.

“We are concentrating on the end of the season,” Zielinski said. “We are working hard, doing the little things during our workout to help us keep improving.”

At the last meet, the UTA Invitational, the TCU men’s cross country team finished first, while the women’s team finished second.

Manly is hoping to improve on his performance from last time, when he finished in fourth place individually.

“Basically, I want to go out there this weekend and be able to score well and score as high possible,” Manly said.

Zielinski said the success of the team has motivated the runners to do better.

“We want to do well this weekend as well in our next meets so we can be successful at regionals and then compete at nationals,” Zielinski said.

Cunniff said doing well this weekend is important.

“I want them to see results in this race so they will go into future races with confidence,” Cunniff said.