The cross country team began their second year of the Kelsey Bruce era with a second-place out of seven finish at the Cameron Aggie Duals event Friday, Sept. 10. Victoria Rosas, mathematics senior, placed second in the event with a time of 19:04.03. She attributes much of the team’s success to Bruce’s culture change.
“I think that Coach Bruce has had a huge positive impact on the cross country team. Before she came I felt like our team chemistry was somewhat rocky and we weren’t really working together as a team and it just felt like to me some were falling out of love for the sport. Once she came last semester our dynamic changed. We started working together and, we had a routine going because she was always checking in on us every single day, giving us intense workouts, and she just believed in us from the start and I think that’s what made us become a great team again,” Rosas said.
At the Aggie Duals, eight different runners posted personal best 5K times. One of them was Elizabeth Butzke, education junior, who posted a time of 19:08.90. Butzke said despite her personal record, she and the team both have loftier goals.
“My personal goals for this year are to get my 5k under 19 minutes, and stay within the top three on our team,” Butzke said. “Our team goals are to just run our best and push each other to get faster. A lot of our team goals this year have been to run in a pack and shorten our overall gap time.”
Seven of the 14 runners on the team this semester are freshmen compared to just three seniors. Rosas feels there’s a lot of talent in the first-year group, and as a mentor, she can help them continue to grow.
“We have some pretty great freshman on this team and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish this semester. My role I feel like has been to lead by example for them and show them that consistency is key and if they are consistent then they will see major progress. I also hope that they know that they can come to me for anything whether it’s something personal, academic, etc.,” Rosas said.
The next time to see the women race to the finish line will be on Oct 9. here in Wichita Falls, TX at the Mustangs Invitational. Be sure to wear pink out for Breast Cancer Awareness.