Message To Huskies: Do What You've Done All Year
Nov. 20, 2011
NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - On the eve of the NCAA Championships, Greg Metcalf kept the message simple for his third-ranked women's cross country team. The head coach told his troops that heroics are not needed, they simply need to operate how they do on a daily basis at practice, and at the past three races.
"Tomorrow is about the continuation of everything you've done this season," said Metcalf. "Keep it simple, be relaxed, do your thing."
Washington learned it would be in starting box number one on Monday morning, meaning they will be on the farthest left when the gun goes off at approximately 12:58 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow afternoon at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. Temperatures are expected to be in the 50's with rain a possibility.
The women headed to the course for the first time this weekend today at 10 a.m., running for 20 minutes and then doing some strides before heading back to lunch.
The team meeting Sunday night included a mini-fashion show, as senior Christine Babcock was decked out in a few accessories that her teammates had purchased on Saturday, including a wig, Christmas earrings and sweater, and a beret. Asked if she had any advice for her younger teammates, Babcock said, "Don't become a senior, or else this will happen."
But the rest of the squad got their own gear, as associate head coach Jason Drake handed out pirate maps and eye patches to help keep the mood light tonight and before the race tomorrow.
It was all business though to end the evening. Metcalf referred back to Washington's victory at the Wisconsin Invitational as the "blueprint" for Monday. That field was even larger than the NCAA Championships, with 44 teams at the start compared to 31, and the Huskies navigated the mass of bodies for the win.
Breaking down the race, Metcalf said "the first 3k goes by fast, and then from 3k to 5k you've just got to be tough and race, but you've done that perfectly this year.
"If the team that we watch every Tuesday and every Friday (in workouts) just shows up at the meet, we don't need to do anything more than that. We will take our chances with what happens," Metcalf said.
At the end he reminded them, "Don't race with an eye patch on, depth perception will get a little screwed up."