Cross country team approaching peak

Brad Tansey

The Kent State cross country team will be entering its “peak” stage soon with the Mid-American Conference Championship meet only a couple weeks away.

Peaking shows a runner’s true ability at a specific point in the season.

Kent State coach Mark Croghan said peaking is one of the most important aspects in running cross country.

“Obviously like any other sport, you want to do your best in the most important competitions,” he said.

At this weekend’s Falcon Invite in Bowling Green, the Flashes hope to continue to prepare for their peak.

Sophomore Steve Fischer said he’s right on track to peak at the Oct. 30 MAC Championship meet in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Lizarribar out for season

Senior Alex Lizarribar will miss the remainder of the season because of a stress fracture in her right ankle. The injury was diagnosed Oct. 8, but according to Lizarribar, it has been hurting since the Lehigh-Brooks Paul Short Run Oct. 1.

“Right now, I’m where I want to be,” he said. “I ran well at Lehigh, and I’m feeling really good. My training is getting better as each week goes by.”

In the summer months, runners focus on running slower, longer distances.

Fischer said his training carries an average of about 55 miles per week in the early season.

“I’m not really a high-mileage runner,” he said. “It’s different for everyone.”

Because each runner performs at a different level, the Flashes’ training program focuses on placing runners into groups depending on their performance. In those groups, Croghan individualizes the pace for each runner.

“The only variation really is that some people run longer on their long runs and some people run farther on their recovery days,” Fischer said.

As the season progresses, the workouts become more difficult. The intensity and speed of the runs increase.

“You’re probably not running as fast early in the season, but putting in more miles,” Croghan said. “Toward the end of the season, you’re doing things at a much higher quality, higher intensity, but the amount of work you do is just as high as what you did over the summer.”

For senior co-captain Allison Krupko, peaking shows a runner’s true capabilities.

“Speed wise and my physical, overall feeling is completely different from the beginning of the season to the end of the season,” said Krupko, who added that the peak period for her generally lasts two to three weeks. “Towards the end of the season, we’re really looking to hit our fastest times and to really be sharpened up and ready to run our best races at the end of the year.”

Contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].