Cross country gears up for GLVC Championships


Photo by Dominic Hoscher

Women’s cross country in training on Monday, Oct. 18, at the Lindenwood track ahead of the 2021 GLVC Championships.

Dominic Hoscher, Editor-in-Chief

Lindenwood’s cross country team is heading to Romeoville, Illinois, Saturday for the GLVC Championships.

“This is what we work towards in cross country,” head coach Randy Cole said. “It all comes down to being on top of your game on the day of the championship race.”

Lewis University is hosting the two races, with the women’s 6k beginning at 10:45 a.m. and the men’s 8k starting at 11:30 a.m. 

The GLVC Championships mark the fifth race of the year for Lindenwood, whose season began back on Sept. 2 in Kirksville, Missouri at the Truman State Dual Meet. The Lions have since traveled to Columbia, Missouri, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Elsah, Illinois in the last month for three other meets. 

But the one they are preparing for on Saturday has a different feeling to it.

“It’s always like a different atmosphere for the conference,” sophomore Bramwell Havi said. “I feel like racing the new schools in our conference is going to be something special. It’s going to be like proving ourselves that we’re there and what we can do as Lindenwood students.”

Both the men and women’s teams are coming off strong performances in their last meet in Elsah at the Border War Championships. Out of nine teams, Lindenwood finished first on the women’s side and the men’s team was third. 

Junior Louis Moreau was first in the men’s race for the second time this season, followed by Havi who was eighth. Both senior Najwa Chouati and junior Rachel Morrison finished in the top three in the women’s race, with Chouati in first and Morrison in third.

With momentum and a mostly healthy squad, Lindenwood is eager for Saturday’s meet.

“I think we can do great things this year,” Chouati said. “We have all of the team healthy and I’m excited to see how we perform as a team.”

The men and women’s teams who finish on top are crowned as the GLVC Champion. Individually, those who place inside the top 20 on both sides are named All-GLVC. The two who finish first are named the GLVC Runners of the Year.

In order for Lindenwood to have success in Romeoville, Cole knows that the Lions need to perform well on a team level, not just individually.

“It is a team sport and not only how well your number one runner does, but your number four, five, six, seven runners do,” Cole said. “It’s going to be critical for us to do well as having some real good, quality people up front battling for all-conference honors but also having the rest of your scorers placing well too.”

Even in a meet that carries as much weight as the GLVC Championships, veterans such as Chouati are remaining calm heading into the race.

“When you’re in shape and you did the work properly, you’re confident about it and you’re excited more than nervous,” Chouati said.

The team will next prepare for the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Cross Country Championships after the conference meet, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6, in Evansville, Indiana.