by Cedar Goslin
The cross country running team of Central Oregon Community College will start practice sessions sometime in August, according to Matt Plummer, the director of Bobcat Racing. Plummer hopes that beginning their training at that time will help the team prepare for the first meet, which is Sept. 22.
“It’s important that the athletes get training now or it’s going to show,” said Plummer.
Plummer revived the cross country team, which is a club sport, during the 2011-12 school year and is looking forward to coaching it for a second year.
“Last year was very much a learning year,” said Plummer, but now he feels that he has a better understanding of how the meets run and is ready to focus on improving the team.
Most of last year’s runner’s have graduated, so Plummer is hoping to recruit more athletes before the season begins. The team is open to everyone, and Plummer said he is willing to train anyone who is interested in competing.
“Their ability is very low on the list of things I’m looking for,” said Plummer. “I want this to be an opportunity for any COCC student.”
Plummer keeps the team open to anyone because he thinks it’s important for students to get a chance to compete for their schools in college. He said the experience is invaluable and gives students a feeling they can’t know until they try it.
Last year the team didn’t bring any prizes back from the meets, but that’s something that Plummer is hoping to change now that he has a better idea of what the competition is like. Aside from improving their performance, another goal Plummer has for this year is for the team to become officially affiliated with the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges. The meets they attended last year were put on by the NAACC, but because the COCC team was not affiliated officially they were guests and unable to participate in any championships, which results in their season being cut short.
Plummer said that he is looking forward to an exciting year and the chance to work with new athletes.
“Anyone who is interested we’ll definitely make room for,” said Plummer. “It’s mostly about sharing the opportunity.”