Both Oklahoma State cross-country teams are headed to the NCAA Regional Championships.
Coach Dave Smith said he knows to not get overly confident going into the races and OSU still needs to earn its spot. Yet, he knows each team’s rankings show that they’ve done a good job thus far.
“Not going to take a miracle to win,” Smith said.
The Cowboys have held steady at No. 6 for the past month. The Cowgirls, on the other hand, have jumped in the rankings, now at No. 13 from No. 23.
Smith used key words like confident, cohesive and excited to describe the women’s attitude about being at the Championships. The Cowgirls’ biggest competition is No. 16 Iowa and No. 21 Minnesota. Smith said their competition list is a little longer than the men’s, but still not impossible.
Last year at the championship, the men ran with urgency. The roster was just freshmen with no real stand out runners and only one All-American.
This year, however, Smith said the men’s team will be going into a dogfight. The men’s mindset is less emotional than the women’s, Smith said. He followed up with saying that the Cowboys are there to do business. They are set to face No. 14 Tulsa, No. 19 Illinois and Oklahoma and Minnesota, who are tied at No. 26.
Both teams combine when it comes to preparation. They want to come into the races fresh, Smith said.
“We’re just resting and recovering,” Smith said. “The intensity is over.”
The NCAA Regionals will kick off at 11 a.m. Friday in Lawrence, Kansas on the Rim Rock Farm Cross-Country Course.