Posted on: October 23, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Ethan Holesha, Sports Editor

Head coach Dimitri Dimizas has confidence in both the men and women’s cross country teams heading in this weekend’s conference championships.

For the men, the expectation is to win the conference on Saturday.

“It would be a disappointment if we don’t,” states Dimizas. “We’re the only nationally-ranked team in the conference and our men know that they can run even faster than what they’ve shown so far.”

As for the women, the season has gone a little bit differently. Because the team has only four women this year, they have not had enough people to score as a team at meets. That doesn’t take away from the importance of Saturday’s event, however. Goals are still very much in mind.

Freshman Olivia Wrobel earned a nearly two-minute personal best at the last meet.

Dimizas says, “I’d like to see all of our women run a season PR (personal record) and end things on a high note.”

With a chilly high of 47 degrees expected Saturday and substantial rain predicted Friday night, the conditions will not be ideal for the races. 

“Hopefully the rain doesn’t make the course too sloppy,” Dimizas said. 

The women begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and the men at noon. While no spectators are allowed, the meet will be livestreamed on the Moraine Valley Cyclones Facebook page.

MV women’s cross country runners compete at the second Heartland Community College meet on Oct. 9.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no hope of advancing past the conference championship. The regional championship meet, which would have been next weekend, has been canceled.

A shortened season has resulted in minimal action for the cross country teams. The men’s and women’s teams have had only two meets each so far this season. This conference championship event will be their third and last meet.

Dimizas’ expectations were pretty basic for this unique season: “Really just to get as much running and training experience as possible.”

But the team has exceeded those expectations. On the side of the men, both meets have resulted in third place finishes. At the Heartland Community College Meet, it was a strong showing for the mostly freshmen team. The team continued its success with another third-place finish at the second Heartland Community College meet in Normal, with sophomore Carlos Galvan a top-10 finisher.

With a team of mostly freshmen, there was a lot of uncertainty. However, coach Dimizas was impressed with the bond the team was able to build so quickly. He said was surprised by “how well they gel. They all seem to get along well. The team hangs out outside of practice which is really important.”

Despite all of the setbacks this year, the two teams have remained positive.

“Initially I thought it would be hard. I was nervous going into it,” said Dimizas. “But they made it easier on me because of their willingness to learn new things. They knew it was going to be a different season, but they adjusted easily.”