Women’s Cross Country
Members of the Ohio University women’s cross country team cheer and get pumped up before running at their home cross country meet at the Ohio University golf course on Friday, September 5, 2014.
As the new school year approaches, incoming first-year students are scrambling to find their classes and adapt to college life — but not the women’s cross country team.
Not only will the women have a new coach, but a new culture has also been introduced, in an effort to shrug off a 10th place finish at the 2014 Mid-American Conference Championships.
Tim Sykes, the new coach, will replace Clay Calkins, who in previous seasons oversaw both the men’s and women’s squads. Calkins will now focus on the men.
But Sykes has also brought in new ideas. The team is doing more little things, such as aqua-jogging and lifting. Aqua-jogging is a type of deep-water running that helps with actual running movements.
Senior redshirt Kayla Scott, who lead Ohio at the MAC Championships running 21:37, said the little adjustments should differentiate this team with previous seasons.
“Sykes has really zoned us in on what we’re truly focusing on, such as the smaller things with recovery,” Scott said. “We are way more accountable this summer with each other, how we log our runs online. We’re really getting that team feel.”
Scott, who is recovering from a torn ACL injury sustained while competing in the 3000m steeple chase in April for the track and field team, will redshirt this season, allowing herself one more year of eligibility in the future. She will be the team’s captain while recovering.
“I think we’re going to be more focused on who actually is in the race around us. I think we’ve kind of lost sight of that,” Scott said. “I think we need to focus on who is around us, compete and get better in the actual MAC.”
Along with Scott, returning fourth-year junior Peyton Adkins, strives for the team to improve in the MAC. While Scott finished 25th at the conference championships, Adkins finished 42nd.
“For our team, I would like for us to get higher than we did last year,” Adkins said. “I know we would all like to improve from last year.”
Even though Scott will be out this year, the women’s team is optimistic the new culture will bring new accomplishments.
“I will continue to cheer them on, travel with them and make sure they’re doing the right things and appreciating the time they have while running for Ohio University,” Scott said.