MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon College cross country coach
Nate Rucker understands the preseason can become a grind.
When the Hawks travel to the Sewanee Invitational on
Saturday, Rucker knows his men’s and women’s teams will be ready for the
competition to begin.
“We’re looking forward to this weekend,” Rucker said. “Two weeks
of preseason practice can become kind of monotonous, so actually getting into
competition is a highlight to start the season. We’ve never been to this meet
but I think it will be good for both the men and the women.”
The men and women are the defending Great South Athletic
Conference champions. Both teams also return the majority of last year’s
“We’ve seen good things from this
team in workouts,” said senior Jeff Jenkins, an all-conference runner as a
junior. “We have four of our top five runners back and we have a freshman that
looks promising. We’re looking strong as a team and everyone is stepping up and
filling the roles we need them to. One of our goals is to repeat as conference
The men have won two GSAC
championships in the past three seasons. The women have won two straight.
“We definitely want to get back
to conference and try to win it again,” said senior and three-time GSAC Runner
of the Year Caitlin McMahon said. “We have the same team as last year and a
couple of additions that are looking strong. I think we have the potential to
compete on the regional level this year and move up in the standings.”
Rucker has high expectations for
his teams. But right now, he wants the focus to be on improving and building up
as the season progresses.
“It’s a process,” Rucker said. “Our expectations are high,
but it’s still early in the season. The first meet of the year, anything can
happen and you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. If we have a
good day, that’s great. If we don’t, we go back to work and see what we can
“The first part of the season is about looking to see what
we need to do to improve. We’ll start fine-tuning as we get deeper into the