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Distance Diary: Alex Grant


October 24, 2007

The last month has been a hectic, busy time for the guys on the team. We've been training hard and spending our weekends traveling across the country. Our training and competition schedules, combined with the release of Halo III and our fantasy football league, has definitely put some strain on the 'ol schoolwork. We've got 18 alums and current runners in a fantasy football league which gives us something to talk trash about on our training runs out in the wheat fields. I'm on a bit of a losing streak, but after this weekend I'll have Larry Johnson and LT starting in my running back slots and will be a force to be reckoned with.

In a few days we'll be loading up the bus and heading for Corvallis! The bus will be a nice change of pace after the last couple marathon travel trips. I don't think any of us want to spend any more time in the Denver airport. Today we put in our last workout before Pac-10's this weekend. Ran some 600 meter repeats on the track just to get the legs working and break a bit of a sweat before shutting it down for the weekend. From here on out all that matters is being ready to roll on race day. The next few meets are what we call the "championship" portion of the season which includes Pac-10's, the West Regional meet, and NCAA's.

Pac-10's is all about pride and bragging rights; not to mention another chance to pick up at-large points for NCAA's. I really think that this meet illustrates the best aspects of our sport. It's simplicity. On one day, all the teams in the conference will be on the same course battling for the same prize. It's not like most other sports, like football, where a dominant team, like USC, can lose to a Stanford and still claim to be a better team. The game can just be chalked up as an "off game" and they go on to dominant the conference. Saturday is all that counts for us and every team knows that's the day when they have to show up and compete.

So far this season we haven't been able to put together a complete, all-around performance. In cross country the places of your top five runners are added together for a point total, low score wins. At our opening meet in Minnesota our top three runners took care of business and a couple of weeks ago at Pre-Nationals our three through five runners did what they needed to do while our top couple of guys were off (especially myself). It's difficult to pull it off, but if we can get five guys to take care of business on Saturday we can compete with almost any team in the conference.

Alex Grant
WSU men's team captain

Washington State Cougars Cross Country