Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide gears up for Commodore Classic

The Alabama men’s cross country team has been training hard since placing third at last week’s Georgia Invitational.

The men will travel to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the Commodore Classic this Saturday. Just like the Georgia Invitational, the Crimson Tide will run eight kilometers and will continue to run this distance all the way through regionals.

Unlike other sports where having a strong start is important, cross country tends to focus more on strong finishes. While performing well in early meets always helps, assistant coach Adam Tribble has most of his focus on a strong finish.

“Right now, we’re racing with tired legs,” Tribble said. “We’re just training now. We want to have our best performances toward the end when it’s closer to the postseason.”

When it comes to training and getting the runners ready to compete in races, Tribble assured that it is a lot more than just a jog through the park.

“There is more involved than just running,” Tribble said. “Along with weights, we have a lot of drills we run. We also try to vary how much we run and how hard we run it.”

In terms of how big of a meet this will be, coach Tribble categorized it as “low-key,” as there will be no ranked teams at the meet. Alabama will be joined by schools such as Vanderbilt, Alabama A&M, Chattanooga and Lipscomb, none of which are ranked in the NCAA’s top 30 rankings. With this meet not being host to any top 30 teams, this could be a meet that allows the Tide to improve upon their already solid third place finish at their last meet.

Senior Nathan Corder, who finished 50th at the Georgia Invitational, believes that in order to place better at the meet, they will have to have a better, closer pack time than they did at their last meet.

“Our pack time was more spread out at the last meet,” Corder said. “We want to get them closer together in order to prevent other schools from slipping in.”

Alabama’s men’s runners placed first, 12th, 21st, 37th, 40th, 42nd, 50th and 99th at the Georgia Invitational, illustrating the wide range of difference in their placing and how important it is to finish closer together.

Corder explained that even after weeks of tiring training, he still is able to push through the pain in his legs and focus on the race at hand.

“We have a whole different set of gear just for meets,” Corder said. “So, when we put our special gear on, we represent our school, and we make sure we drop any ‘weight,’ including whatever thoughts are running through our minds.”

In the end, no matter what meet it is, the goal remains the same to Corder and the rest of the team.

“We want to win,” Corder said. “We want to win, no matter what it is.”

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