Sept 23, 2017 – Princess Anne, MD
CCBC Catonsville men’s cross country team has been working hard since the 1st day of practice. The goal set for 2017 is to compete at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships at Iowa City CC on November 11th. That is the ultimate test against the nation’s best Junior College distance runners. Last year’s performance by CCBC freshman Jamal Richardson at the Nationals set the precedence. Now everyone must work hard to get there.
Saturday’s 8k (5.0 miles) race on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore was definitely a step in the right direction. The Cardinals were led by freshman Kris Purdie who placed 19th overall with a time of 28:56.9. Closely behind Purdie was fellow freshman Frankye Duckett who placed 21st with a time of 29:36. Rounding out the finishers was freshman Amir Williamson who ran 34:30.
What’s so inspiring to the team and specifically to head coach Mark Pryor is the fact that this is everyone’s first ever 8k race. Competing against tough Division-I athletes in a distance never covered before was a huge challenge. But with two prior races at the 5k distance (3.1 miles), the team was ready. Training has been going well and the team is injury free so the results were hoped for and fully within their capabilities.
After previously running two 5k races in early September, the challenge of sustaining the same pace for an additional 2 more miles is very daunting. But the mental toughness of Purdie and Duckett was clearly evident on this day. Coach Pryor noted that it was great to look at the results and see his athletes finish ahead of other athletes from other schools who were upperclassmen with 3-4 yrs prior cross country experience. For Kris and Frankye to compete the way they did was an enormous effort.
The team will now have a week off which fits perfectly in Coach Pryor’s training cycle and then travel to the Goucher College XC Invitational on Oct 7th in Towson MD. ‘GO CARDINALS”
Full results of the UMES Cappy Anderson XC Invitational can be found at: