In spite of weekend victory, Syracuse eyes bigger picture

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Saturday morning was an unfamiliar feeling for the Syracuse cross country team. Despite the relative unimportance of the meet in Syracuse’s season, sophomore Roman Acosta couldn’t hide his excitement — especially for the team’s first home meet since 2004. ‘We get anxious to race,’ Acosta said. The Big East preview meet was the first time the program has held home-field advantage in six years. But even with the anticipation surrounding the circumstances, SU head coach Chris Fox calmly took things in stride before the meet, wanting to use the opportunity for some of his younger runners to get some experience. ‘This (meet) is so low-key that we’re not even running half of our kids,’ Fox said. ‘It’s more for people who are finding their way still, and the majority of kids who will be running at nationals won’t be running in this meet. Some young people will get experience, and it will be a tuneup for people who are on the edge of making the team.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Though he’s a senior on Fox’s squad and his spot on the team is likely secure, Steve Murdock wanted to get a meet under his belt and shake off some of the rust of the offseason. Coming off a season that included the program’s first Big East championship, Murdock knows how important it was to start this season off with a victory. ‘It was great,’ Murdock said. ‘It seemed like everyone was running really well, even though it was a low-key meet just to see where everybody’s at.’ Since the team decided not to participate in the Harry Lang Invitational, it had an extra week of practice before its meet. Fox made sure his team didn’t get complacent with ample idle time before the beginning of the season. ‘We trained hard,’ Fox said. ‘A couple of people that raced got to cut back on Thursday and Friday a little bit, but the rest of the team continued to train hard.’ Murdock was able to witness firsthand how the development of some of the younger runners is paying off, thanks to that training regimen led by Fox. ‘The freshmen ran amazing,’ Murdock said. ‘Actually, I was really impressed to see how well they did. I don’t think any freshman class has ever done that well, and to come in that strong. It’s really great and says a lot for the team and what we can be in the following years.’ Acosta also used Saturday’s race as a tuneup. In the bigger picture, that’s what it was supposed to be. He knows SU’s goals are far beyond a Big East preview win. ‘We just went out there and got what we had to do done,’ Acosta said. ‘It was nice to see the freshmen do really well. We just wanted to get the win and move on because we are obviously looking for bigger things ahead.’ While Fox, Murdock and Acosta are all targeting another Big East title, along with another solid showing at Nationals, Acosta appreciated the chance to finally get to run against someone other than his own teammate. ‘It was nice to get the legs moving again,’ Acosta said. ‘It was time to get our racing heads into it and look forward.’ Saturday’s win was just another steppingstone for Fox and his program, but he is keeping everything in perspective when it comes to their success this season. ‘In the grand scheme of things and the big picture, this isn’t that important,’ Fox said. ‘It doesn’t affect winning the Big East, it doesn’t affect getting to Nationals or not. It’s not like football, where every game counts. ‘And if you lose one, you’re out of the national championship scene.’ [email protected]center_img Published on September 13, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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