This fall season, the Mora Mustangs boys and girls cross-country teams has been beset with injury. But with opportunities to step up and gain experience, the runners are emphasizing training for post-season success.
“It’s been an interesting season so far,” said head coach Chris Goebel. “We’ve got about 58 kids out this fall, which is good after we graduated 24 last spring. However, it’s been an injury-riddled season; one of those years where when it rains, it pours.”
“Right now all of our boys are back and running, but two of our varsity girls will probably miss the rest of the season. It’s been a challenge to adjust and change, both for the runners and the coaches. We’re not doing anything differently from what we’ve done in the past, where we’ve had virtually no injuries.”
Goebel said other runners have stepped up to fill in. “These kids work hard and want to compete. The boys team finished seventh at the Milaca Mega-Meet on Saturday, Sept. 21. It was the first time we had all of them back since the first meet of the year. The girls finished in 15th place, which is not bad considering we’re missing two of our regulars. The course was completely rainy and muddy, like running in a cow pasture,” he said.
“But we had by far our best meet of the season on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Foley Invitational. There were many personal bests, and that will be a big boost of confidence for the runners.”
The Mustangs travel to Hinckley on Tuesday, Oct. 1 for the Hinckley-Finlayson Invitational. On Saturday, Oct. 5 they participate in the Swain Invitational in Duluth before returning to Mora on Tuesday, Oct. 15 to host the Granite Ridge Conference Championship at Spring Brook Golf Course. The Section 5 A Tournament also takes place in Mora, on Thursday, Oct. 24.
Goebel said that the Mustangs have past experience and past success to show what they can do. “We have only two senior boys, and seven or eight senior girls. Our junior varsity boys and our middle school girls come to practice each day, and continue to work hard and get better,” he said. “With so many kids missing time for injuries, our goal right now is to get in some real solid training to prepare for Sections.”
“Everybody’s working on getting better, so the injuries haven’t affected our positive mentality.”