Even without a head coach designated for cross-country practice for men and women since Aug. 24, runners still seem to be on the positive side.
“I keep working hard and doing a lot of mileage, getting ready for the season, the same from last year but this time, a little better. I know how my last season was, so this time I will have a better experience,” men’s cross country runner Yonas Tesfai said. “I think it’s better to keep the same coach, but since he can’t be here, we’re going to see how the new coach works. But we’re looking forward for a good coach.”
With the Cougars first meet Friday at Houston Baptist, following the Rice Invitational Sept. 14, the Cougars will need to stay focused and correct incidents that took place last season.
“The whole team had a problem with injuries (last season),” said Tesfai. “We’ve got to stay healthy. This is going to be a young team. All the seniors left, so we’re just going to be sophomores and juniors. We’re going to have to take responsibility and step up and try to do good.”
Drevan Anderson-Kaapa said he hopes to continue on towards a record-breaking path, which is among his reasons for potentially having a great season and why fans should come out and support.
“The tides are turning as far as distance running. There are a lot of records being made and Americans are starting to be able to break into those levels where only Kenyans, Ethiopians, and a lot of foreigners could only run, and now we’re getting Americans up there,” he said. “This a time where you can see the strength of the human body and mental discipline and see athletes from the states who have conventional lifestyles, unlike people from other countries, actually doing what those other people can do.”
The men’s and women’s cross country season will continue when both teams travel to Austin on Sept. 28 to compete at the Rouge Grass Routes Running Festival, followed by a trip to Fayetteville, Ark. on Oct. 13 to compete in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. Later, UH will head to the C-USA Championships, on Oct. 29, hosted by Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss.