The Arizona State University men’s and women’s cross country teams opened up the 2013 season with a trek to the mountains for their annual preseason camp in Pinetop, Ariz.
The annual camp offers the team an opportunity to get to know each other before the Fall season really gets into full gear. ASU men’s cross country head coach Louie Quintana said that before the team started heading to the camp in 2006, student-athletes would show up on the first day of class and be seeing their new teammates for the first time.
The camp provides all the men and women an opportunity to earn some valuable bonding time and create some chemistry in a sport that relies on the ability to perform well as a team as opposed to select individuals.
"Cross country camp is a great opportunity to get the season started right by welcoming our newcomers into the program. The girls really enjoy spending time together,” said ASU women’s head coach Ryan Cole. “Camp is also a great opportunity to get everyone on the same page and committed to the process of pursuing success throughout the upcoming year."
Quintana echoed that point.
“The thing I enjoy the most is meeting individually with everyone on the team and getting to know them and their goals,” he said. “And the team gets an opportunity to set their level of expectations and take ownership of what they want to accomplish over the course of the season.”
The camp isn’t all about running, though the mountain trails offer a scenic beauty that one won’t find in Tempe. The squads took part in numerous activities over the course of the four days at the camp, including a karaoke night with a mini jukebox and a playful game of Canadian pool.
The team stays in summer vacation rental cabin over the course of the weekend and each morning would travel to one of the numerous trails in the area for their daily workout. The team earned valuable experience running at altitude at 7,200 feet, which could come in handy later in the season with the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships taking place in Boulder, Colo., at 5,430 feet.