The Nebraska cross country team will be competing in its first Big Ten Championship under first-year Head Coach David Harris Sunday in East Lancing, Mich. Harris believes his team has responded well to adversity after struggling at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational two weeks ago.
“I was not as happy with the Wisconsin adidas Invite,” Harris said. “Our team placing was not good but when I analyzed it further that is kind of where we are as a team right now – very inexperienced. I also know that we did have several individuals who ran personal bests so I do feel good as a coach for them.”
Following the Wisconsin adidas Invite, Harris believes his team has worked hard in the bye week to get ready for the conference championship.
“We have been tapering our mileage in workouts and increasing some intensity,” Harris said. “Basically we want to be well recovered from hard training and ready to run faster.”
Harris acknowledged that as a whole, the Big Ten Conference is full of some of the top talent in the country, which will make this meet difficult for the young Huskers.
“All the Big Ten teams are excellent cross country programs,” he said. “It is one of the toughest cross country conferences in the nation. We are just trying to run our best and represent NU well.”
After sitting out of the Wisconsin adidas Invite, junior co-captain Jarren Heng is expected to return to the course for the conference championship on the men’s side.
“Jarren is planning on running. He has been slowly recovering from a calf injury, but he looks like he could be close to 100 percent,” Harris said. “We need him to lead our young freshmen.”
Overall, Harris hopes the young group of NU runners perform at a high level against the best competition in the country.
“I just want to see them have their best individual races of the year, and we will just put those individual performances together for our best team placing possible.”
Check back here at Huskers.com for race results Sunday afternoon. The women’s race starts at 10:45a.m. with the men’s race following at 11:45a.m.