Cross country ready to run after missing outdoor season due to COVID-19

Baylor men's cross country take off during the 2019 Bear Twilight Invitational at the Heart of Texas Soccer Complex. Lariat File Photo

By Grace Smith | LTVN Reporter

With the goal for each player to get “a season better,” today Baylor cross country is headed to Abilene to compete in the ACU Invitational. The Bears will run in a dual meet as they race against host ACU.

The woman’s 5K race will start at 6:30 p.m., and the men’s 8K will begin at 7 p.m. This is the first of four meets scheduled for the fall season.

“We are super excited to get started, to get a competition under our belts,” Jon Capron, Baylor associate head coach, said. “This first meet works out as a perfect opener to set ourselves up and see what all we are working with.”

The team has been devoted to doing their part in order to say healthy during the pandemic. Capron said that they are “committed” to being safe while still practicing and staying in shape.

“If we do not dot our I’s and cross our T’s we will not have a meet,” Capron said. “There is an opportunity that we might move up in the conference because we have been washing our hands better than somebody else did, that’s important.”

Capron said he is “itching” to see the whole team together. He hopes this season will work as a motivation to put more work in each day. “Progression” is Capron’s word for the season.

Returning junior Celia Holmes is “ecstatic” to get to run in a meet again. She said this is the longest break from racing she’s had in eight years. Holmes has competed in cross country and track since eighth grade. However, Holmes said she came out of this unwanted break stronger than ever.

“We tried to use our quarantine time to train really hard,” Holmes said. “I got to increase my mileage in a way that I would not have been able to do during an outdoor season. I am hoping those extra miles under my belt and focus on training will help this fall as we get into our season.”

Even with all the unknowns of what COVID-19 could take away from the upcoming season, the team is focusing on capitalizing every opportunity they are given. Training hard regardless of circumstances is important to this team.

“The game is on, we are getting ready for Friday,” Holmes said. “Irregardless of whether or not our season gets cut short, we will continue to train hard this fall and hopefully have a team that will continue to improve in workouts and in races.”

As of now, Baylor is scheduled to race in the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla., on Oct. 3, the Arturo Barrios Invitational in College Station on Oct. 17, and the Big 12 Championships on Oct. 30 in Lawrence, Kan.