Cross country runners

Cross country runners competing at the Shacklette Invite (image courtesy: Jim Stankiewicz)

After competing in regionals at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York the weekend of November 6, the men’s cross country team hung up their spikes, tying the knot on the 2021 season.

The team finished 15th of 21 at a regional cross country race which took countless miles and hours to accomplish. Mastering a comfortable running pace is something that is worked on year-round and takes a great deal of time, but SNHU cross country has done it.

SNHU veteran runners JT Gulick (‘23) and Liam Walker (‘23) spoke on what this season was like, and the preparation it entailed. 

Gulick worked his way to the second-fastest on the team before injuring his Achilles early in the season. He described the team dynamic, stating that he believes most of the team is very similar in skill, and that there is a significant comradery between the runners.

“There’s a chunk of us that’s all within 10 to 15 seconds of each other,” said Gulick.

Whether at practice or in race, the team prefers to stick together as a collective group. It’s not uncommon that students at SNHU see the team running around campus to practice. However, their routes are much more complex than meets the eye. 

“We run into [Manchester], and Hooksett, too. We have a five-mile loop, eight-mile loop, seven-mile loop, twelve-mile loop, and a fifteen-mile loop,” said Gulick. It is a whole lot more than simply running from one residence hall to another. Students may not be aware of all the running that the team does.

When asked about what the season was like for him, Walker noted the work ethic that is required to do well in such a sport. “It definitely starts early on. We’re training all summer long… I got up to 70 miles per week,” said Walker. 

With the team competing at regionals, the pressure was on. “I think it was one of our better performances of the year… Our goal was to kind of have a close spread between each other,” said Walker.

“This was kind of like a building year for us,” said Walker. With hope and determination for what the future holds, Gulick continued, “We’ll come back next year.”