The Truman State University men’s and women’s cross country teams will have their first competition of the season on the road Sept. 6 against Lindenwood University in what is known as the Dog and Cat Fight Dual Meet.
Coach Tim Schwegler said he and the coach from Lindenwood are friends and they used to compete against each other. That is partly why they decided to start this annual face-off.
“It’s just kind of to get you in the racing mode,” Schwegler said. “It’s something lowkey and not that stressful and I think it’s worked for us.”
Schwegler said historically the Truman women’s team has dominated against Lindenwood, winning five of the last six duals against them.
Junior runner Carly Garnett said she is excited about this dual because Lindenwood just joined Truman’s conference this year. She said her team has been training all summer.
“It’s not a sport you really get to take a break on, because you have to keep your endurance up,” Garnett said.
She said they maintained the endurance over the summer, so now they are working more on speed. The team does two workouts a week separated by a recovery run and long runs on Saturdays.
Garnett said the women’s team just got two new freshmen this year who seem like strong runners.
“I feel like we’re going to have a really strong team,” Garnett said. “We obviously lost three seniors who were a big part of the team last year when we ran at conference, but I’m really excited to see how the freshman brace at our first meet because I think they’re going to be a really great addition to the team.”
Among the two new freshman on the men’s team is Nathan Key. Key said at this dual he is expecting to get the feel of a college cross country meet and he is looking forward to running against college-level competition.
Overall, Key said, the team just wants to keep improving everyday and perform as well as they can. After being on campus practicing with the team, he said he feels they are going to have a great season.
“I’m ready to get going and show everyone just what we’re capable of and what I’m capable of.”