Rowan Men’s Cross Country Looks to Bounce Back After the Iona Meet of Champions

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Rowan's cross country team during a meet. The team placed sixth at the Ioan Meet of Champions. - Photo / Rowan Athletics

Men’s cross country team finished sixth out of ten teams competing in the Iona Meet of Champions last Friday.

“We would have liked to have seen a little bit better results but we performed well and took some things from this to learn from,” said Head Coach Dustin Dimit.

Out of 117 competitors, the Profs had two runners finish in the top 50. Top performers for the team were Jeff Stewart, who clocked in at 27:16.2, and Justin Kelly, who clocked in at 27:17.7; finishing 28th and 30th respectively.

“It feels good,” Kelly said. “I really feel like I’m in a good spot right now and all the guys are working hard.” 

Kelly was also named the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association earlier this month.

“It feels really good to get the recognition and be honored like that,” Kelly said. “I appreciate and care about that award but I really know I can get better for my team and I want to be the best I can be at the end of the season.”

This is why Kelly is mainly focused on his performance last Friday at Iona and how to improve.

“Although it is early, I’m really trying to bounce back after last Friday and looking forward to Oct. 1 at Lehigh,” Kelly said. “Sometimes when you have a bad race you want to put it behind you but other times you like to think about it and let it drive you for next time.”

Dimit talked about if the quick turn around from the prior meet to this one had an effect on the runners for this past Friday.

“That can definitely have an effect but we expect to perform well every time we go out there,” Dimit said. “There were some good performances and some average performances but we were able to learn how to race with different styles and we beat a bunch of Division I teams so that is good as well but there is definitely room for improvement.”

Dimit mentioned no matter how they performed, all the runner’s mindsets are still healthy.

“Everybody is still happy, healthy and pushing to keep getting better,” Dimit said.

Kelly also spoke about his mindset for the rest of the season.

“I have to keep working hard in practice and take care of my body and make sure it’s right,” Kelly said. “I have to focus on rest and make sure I get the rest that I need and make sure we’re all recovering well and doing all the little things right.”

The team does not race again until Oct. 1 at Lehigh and Head Coach Dimit said this will give them a chance to have an extra workout through the week in practice and give them more time to practice race strategies.

“These guys are used to this,” Dimit said. “And they will stay focused and ready and prepare themselves for the end of the season.”

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