HELENA — On Tuesday, Helena’s Bill Roberts Golf Course hosted the league's cross country teams in the Frontier Conference Preview. The Carroll women entered Tuesday’s race ranked 19th nationally.
The women had all 18 of their runners compete in the meet and the men had 12. Since all healthy runners were eligible for the preview, it was freshman Olivia Wildes’ first collegiate race.
“Yeah, I was really excited to put on my Carroll singlet this morning. I took a picture and sent it to my mom. That was the first thing I did. It was really nice to be out there with all of us girls, all of us actually raced today. So that was really nice,” Wildes said.
For these Carroll runners pushing themselves within their team is important.
“We all have our rivals, so we're always focusing on them. And also just in between ourselves, because if we're going against ourselves it pushes everyone else, which also gets us in front of everyone else in the conference,” freshman runner Brycen Gardener said.
Communication is an area in which the women’s team excels.
“We are definitely a talkative team, we get along pretty nicely. And we're not really afraid to say Come on, like, pick it up, or slap our hip or something if we need to stay together. So I don't really know. We just get along really well. And we communicate really nicely. And I'm really lucky that I have the girls that I have on my team,” Wilde said.
In the preview, the pair of freshmen performed well individually and as a team.
“For me personally, I was supposed to tempo today because I'm getting over an injury. About a K in, my coaches were like, ‘just go for it,’ ‘just go for it.’ And so that was really nice. I think I surprised myself a little more than I expected. Us girls, I think we had a pretty solid day, pretty solid day. We had some pretty nice packs. We communicated really nicely, and I'm pretty sure for the most part, most of us hit the splits that we needed. So yeah, it was a good day for us girls,” the first-time collegiate runner said.
“Yeah, me too. I think I performed as best as I could. Today was a tough, pretty tough course, pretty hilly. As far as the squad goes, I'm pretty sure we took the top dub. That's all that matters, that’s the point. So it was sweet,” Gardener said.
The Carroll men took first with a team score of 41 and a team 8k clock time of 2:17:17:36. The women also took first with a team score of 34. And a team 5k clock time of 1:41:59:49.