The first major race of the season at the Notre Dame Invitational for the men's and women's cross country teams took place over the weekend, as the teams finished finishing 10th and 11th, respectively.
The meet was expected to be difficult but exciting. The Rams were hoping to surprise a lot of teams and have both teams finish in the top five, said head coach Del Hessel.
By the end of the event, most of the Rams enjoyed just being there.
"Notre Dame is the biggest race of the year," said freshman Kirsten Anthony. "Being in a race that big is a little shocking, but I liked it."
That shock, while pushing others, may have contributed to the teams coming up short.
"There is a big shock aspect," said senior Josh Glaab. "[Our] top guys go out hard and then get eaten up. They start out the race in quarter-mile speed and not five-mile speed. I can tell them about what to expect in the race, but I can only do so much."
Although the team may not have done extremely well, some individuals did have impressive performances. Glaab finished 14th with a time of 24:05. Anthony finished 30th, first on her team, with at time of 17:41.
"I was really happy with my time and placing," Anthony said. "I didn't expect to be the first girl, but I finished where I expected to be [overall]."
Besides Glaab, the men's team left Indiana frustrated by not achieving their goals.
"The other guys were much stronger than what they finished, everyone thought they should have done better," Glaab said. "People expected to place about ten places higher."
Even though the Rams realize they did not perform up to expectations, they tried to focus on what they were doing right as well.
"We did good but we could have done better," Anthony said. "Going into the race we had a strategy and places where we expected to finish, we didn't get that. But with experience we should be able to step up next time."
Glaab also looked towards the future.
"The team didn't finish as well as we would have liked, we could have beaten three or four other teams, for sure," Glaab said. "Our team is young and the shock played a factor. Hopefully we can take the win next time."
The Rams expect to use the experience from Notre Dame to make sure that the pressure of a big meet won't affect their future performances.
"Experience-wise we should profit from this match. We have three national competitions coming up," Anthony said. "We learned how to run at a much faster pace."
CSU will return to action at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Terre Haute, Ind. on Oct. 15.