LSU cross country coach Khadevis Robinson said he is eager for the start of the season tonight in Lake Charles for the McNeese Rally at 6 p.m., and anxious to see what types of runners the team has this season.
Robinson expressed his excitement about the amount of people who tried out for the team. With more runners, the coaching staff can move forward and see what the runners are capable of doing to build the team.
“We had more people show up to try out for the teams this year than we’ve ever had,” Robinson said. “The fact that we had that many people try out is a good thing. It’s going to take a while, but I think we’re going in the right direction. This meet lets us start the season off to see where everybody’s at.”
Robinson said the season’s beginning stages are not only for evaluating players’ progressions but more for figuring out which players are competitive enough to perform at high levels in crucial stages.
He said the players need to be urgent about performing well during competitions and favorably represent LSU and the cross country team. Considering the amount of new runners, Robinson said competing in a meet like this is necessary for the players to gain experience.
“The bigger meets are nice and fine, but I’m not one to just go to meets just to be there,” Robinson said. “I like to be competitive right now we have a very young team, and we’re starting to build more of a competitive team, so this is the environment we need to be in. We’re still building up.”
Robinson said the team did well overall in 2013, his first year on the staff. The men and women clubs both finished under .500 (32-57 and 29-63, respectively), and each team member put forth a personal best time.
He said the team could’ve been better conditioned. For this season, Robinson said he wants the team to be better in every facet.
“From practice to dedication, to diet, weight, sacrificing, competitions [and to] placing,” Robinson said. “The practices and how we started the season is already much better than we were even three meets in last year. I think we are ahead of where we were last year.”