Imagine trying to run 5,000 or 8,000 meters at a fast pace with high intensity. For most sports, something like this would be punishment or conditioning. But for the cross country team at Castleton, this is life. The men’s and women’s teams compete every week against some of the fastest and most conditioned collegiate athletes in the Northeast.
Since the beginning of the year, Castleton cross country runners have been working hard every day, grinding out long runs and bettering themselves personally and in the standings.
With the regular season almost half over, both the men’s team and the women’s team look strong, mostly staying in the top half of the results.
For the women’s team, stand out Maggie Klein has been phenomenal, finishing first in the Castleton Invitational and tenth in the Smith College Invitational. She ran the 5,000 meter races in an average of 20 and one-half minutes.
5,000 meters isn’t easy, either. It’s calculated to be a distance of about three and one-eighth miles.
“I trained a lot more over the summer,” Klein said. “Everyone has been training a lot harder than any other year. We’ve all gotten at least a minute faster.”
For the men’s team, Jeff Paul has been showing very strong. Paul has been Castleton’s top male runner in each meet this season. He ran the 5,000 meters at the Smith College Invitational in just 18 minutes and 18 seconds, an impressive 5 minute and 53 second mile pace.
This past weekend, the Spartans traveled down to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational.
The teams did well, considering all of the competition. The men placed 32nd out of 38 while the women placed 30th out of 40.
Paul and Klein were the top runners again.
Spartan cross country runners will have their next meet Sep. 27, when they travel to Franklin Park in Boston, MA.