The MSU cross country team has a problem. But not the kind of problem you're probably thinking of. This year, the problem that head coach Koby Styles is facing, is that he has so many strong runners, each week it's getting harder and harder to pick a number 1. Not a bad problem to have. And after last year's disappointing finish MSU Junior Danielle Chavarria says the Mustangs are ready for a great season, "we're just really hungry this year i think. And it's exciting"
After three straight Lone Star Conference championships, and two consecutive years making it to the NCAA national meet. Last year just wasn't the Mustangs year. Running two of their worst races at the end of the year and missing out on a conference championship and a national meet berth. But head coach Koby Styles has said it could have been the best thing that has happened to his team...And Chavarria agrees, "i think so because the mentality on the team before was just kind of like, oh we're going to win conference again. And then we didn't. Now it's how are we going to get that back. It's all about redemption. It's all about getting that title back and getting that trophy in our locker room and those rings on our fingers that's what it's all about."
The one Mustang that qualified for the NCAA championship as an individual is senior Ashley Flores. Flores leading the Mustangs in four of the five meets she ran last year. Saying even though she was the only one that was training for the national meet, her teammates never left her side. And coming back this year Flores recognizes how deep this years squad is, "our top seven have so much depth. Our team has so much depth that there are going to be variations between who's first second or third. It's great to know that if you're not on your a game that race that there is someone there that will pick up the slack and pull you through, to push the pace to push the girls. It's a great feeling."
Michelle Krezenoski is another veteran for MSU. And coming off back to back all lone star conference seasons, she knows that the bar is even higher this year after not advancing as a team in 2012, "this year the mindset isn't just to make it to regionals and get top three but to make it to nationals and get top five there. We have a really strong team this year with all of our recruits and transfers. I think we have a really good chance of doing well at nationals."
The 16th ranked MSU cross country team already has a win under their belt, claiming a team title at its opener for the fourth straight time. The Mustangs being led by transfer Gabby Ruiz. Who was named the Lone Star Conference runner of the week. And according to Chavarria a great addition to the team,"strong strong runner. I'm very excited she's on the team. She pushes us so much in practice.
Also turning in a strong performance for the mustangs in the first event of the year was Emma Ramirez an all american from Antelope Valley Community College. With the depth and speed of this year's roster, MSU should be a strong contender in the South Central region and on to the national stage.