By Nastassja Posso
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- Both of NU’s Cross Country teams finished off another season considering several setbacks that range from recruiting, to practice facilities, and proper workout regimens.
This season the team was down to seven runners due to recruiting. The team lost both assistant coaches last year which really affected the team with the recruiting process since that was one of their jobs.
Ben Slate has been the captain of the Men’s Cross Country team for three years, and he went into to detail about the reasons as to why the Men’s Cross Country team has been struggling.
“Without a track team, no high school year-round runner will want to join a college team that only offers one season of it when they have been used to running both for so long.” Slate said.
At the beginning of the season, recruiting efforts had not gone far enough to be able to reach MAAC regulations for the team. Thankfully, the team received three additional members from the Men’s Swimming and Diving team to add to their roster.
Of all the inconveniences the teams have to counter, the biggest one is the lack of adequate training facilities. As many already know, both the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams and the Women’s Track and Field team do not have a set practice location on campus because they do not have a track.
“We practice anywhere we can really,” he said. “Some days we’ll go out to Fort Niagara or Artpark, but for regular workouts we usually have practices around the rugby field [near the tennis courts on campus].” Slate said.
Unfortunately, it seems that there will not be any immediate action to implement a track at NU. As Slate just concluded his final year running for NU, he hopes to see some change in the program and is optimistic of the team’s future.
“We have had some obstacles these past years but I am hopeful with our recruiting for next year that our team will come back stronger.” Slate said.