Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer, @kylesportsbias
As the UVU Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams prepare for WAC Championships this weekend in Texas, coach Scott Houle is confident that his team is ready to compete and bring home the WAC crown for the second straight year. The Wolverines are the defending champs and were picked by the other coaches in the conference as the favorites to win the meet in both the Men’s and Women’s divisions.
Coach Scott Houle is excited and honored that his teams have garnered that respect but he knows that a target was just placed on his teams. Through his experience as a coach, he knows that could put a lot of pressure on the athletes. “Just have fun,” is a key to relieving that pressure according to Coach Houle.
The athletes have been training and putting in their dues; so now it’s time to go out and have fun. Coach Houle is also telling his athletes to, “not make things bigger than they really are.”
How many times do people make that mistake and get nervous, anxious, and play not to lose? With success comes experience and Houle is using that experience to motivate his teams and keep them focused on the task at hand. He wants his athletes to know that it is time for all the hours spent in the gym, all the miles run, all the weightlifting, and the training room visits to pay off.
“It’s time to just go out and do what you have been training for,” Houle stated.
Tyson Lambert, a redshirt freshman from Stansbury, Utah, says that the Wolverines have a really good chance of winning as a team, “We have to be as consistent as we have been throughout the season.”
Sticking together seems to be the theme between the coach and the athletes. Coach Houle and Lambert both stated that keeping the gap close between runners will be the key to being successful this weekend.
Lambert, a key component of the success UVU has had this year, said that he “felt like we are all improving together. It’s not just one of us improving; all of us improve.”
The experience and confidence that the Wolverines have gained throughout the season is a major factor in repeating a WAC crown for the men and receiving one for the first time for the women. They have raced against strong competition all year and the success they have had at meets in California and Kansas City have given the Wolverines the confidence that they can compete with anyone. Coach Houle feels the confidence factor that the team exudes has been a huge key to success all year long.
With the success UVU has had over the years with Coach Scott Houle at the helm and with athletes like Tyson Lambert running for him, the Wolverines are in a great spot to repeat and bring home another WAC Championship.
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