Same sport, vastly different teams

With different roster sizes, the Gophers men’s and women’s cross country teams must cope with different challenges.

Aidan Coleman

When comparing Minnesota’s women’s cross country roster to the men’s, it could look as if there is a mistake.

The women’s team has nearly three times the number of runners as the men’s team.  

With different roster sizes come different challenges, but both teams said they have chemistry and talent — no matter the size.

 

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY

Benefits

With 48 runners on the roster, senior Chelsea Pettit said the women’s cross country team’s preseason camp gives them a chance to bond before the season starts.

“[At camp, we] get a feel of what our goals are for the team,” she said.

Pettit said that they try to continue team bonding throughout the season.

“We make an effort to meet every week as a whole team,” she said. “Everyone … looks out for each other.”

Challenges

Junior Anne Ferguson said while there are more challenges with a larger team, the runners still manage to work really well together as a group.

“It’s harder to communicate with [all of our teammates] and stay on the same page sometimes,” Ferguson said. “But it’s nice as a big group. Everyone brings something to the table.”

 

MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY

Benefits

Senior Blayne Dulian said the men’s team has had great chemistry this season within their smaller team, beginning with preseason camp.

He said they implemented a policy that prohibited cellphones and laptops at camp, which allowed for better team bonding, particularly with new teammates.

Challenges

But with fewer runners, there’s also more pressure to perform, Dulian said.

“With a smaller team … you do need more people to perform on a consistent basis,” he said. “Asking [younger teammates] to come in and contribute right away is something that’s tough to do.”­