This past Friday we hosted the FSU Invitational, and home meets always provide an additional excitement to race day! Not only is our entire team able to compete together, but we have a much larger cheering squad than we are used to.
I have to give a huge shout out to the rest of our track and field team for coming to volunteer at the meet and support us distance kids! I know that waking up at 6 a.m. to direct parking and watch us run around for 20 minutes is not exactly the way one would choose to spend their Friday morning, or any morning for that matter, so thank you. Hopefully we made the early wake up worth it with our men’s and women’s team winning the meet.
Competing on our home turf also slightly alters our pre-race routine, in addition to the fact that this was a morning race unlike the others so far in the season. Typically, we will practice running the course the day before the meet to become familiar with it, but we certainly did not need to do that for this race. I am fairly confident that we could all run the course with our eyes closed at this point, given the number of workouts we have completed on it.
A morning race also meant no pre-race meal at Panera. That was kind of a life-changing experience, but we managed. We did, however, have a team dinner the night before at Carrabba’s. And with the majority of our men’s and women’s team attending, we probably covered about half of the restaurant. Considering the mass of people we were going to bombard their kitchen with, our coaches coordinated with their staff to plan a menu with select options so they could be prepared, or else we could have been there all night.
Lining up at the start was also a little different. Instead of having about 10 girls squeezing in one box, we had about 40. Some members of our team even snuck over to stand behind another team’s box because it was pretty impossible to cram all of us in that tiny space!
Before we got to the line, we all gathered in a giant circle to do our team chant. We still need to coordinate some of the timing that goes into our cheer, but it was certainly a lot louder in comparison to the small group we typically have attempting to yell at the top of our lungs. After that and standing on the line alongside 40 other girls in garnet uniforms to represent the Noles, you are definitely pumped up to race. So even though it wasn’t the routine we are used too, it’s a pretty good one.
After this weekend, our team has some great momentum as we go into this week where our teams will divide and conquer at the Crimson Classic meet in Alabama and the Wisconsin Invitational.
Hailey Hendry is a sophomore business major from Brentwood, Tennessee. A fixture in the cross country lineup’s top seven throughout her freshman year, she hopes to build on that experience in her second season with the Noles. Hendry will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the FSU women’s cross country team throughout the season.