Being one of the quieter teams at SUNY New Paltz certainly doesn’t mean Cross Country doesn’t turn out quality performances. The men’s team is relatively small compared to past seasons’, but this fall quality over quantity seems to be the name of the game.
Jeff Raab, a third-year runner has been named Athlete of the Week twice in a row this season, and for good reason. He has proven to be a leader for the team, placing high at numerous meets.
“Raab has greatly improved since his freshman year,” said Head Coach Mike Trunkes. “It is somewhat difficult for men’s cross country runners to make the transition between high school and college level track being that they are used to running six kilometers in high school but must change to eight kilometers in college.”
Raab has been reaping the benefits of his determination. According to Trunkes, a runner that knows how much and when to push their limits is just as important as training consistently. Raab has this quality, which sets him above his competitors.
“Raab is a smarter runner this year”, said Trunkes.
Raab’s commitment, persistence and consistency is finally paying off. He placed 24 out of 357 runners in the Paul Short Invitational and third out of 115 in the Hamilton College Invitational. Raab said he is excited about this season and is feeling great about the chemistry with this years team.
Raab’s success in the sport did not come easily but he was persistent over the years and is showing his other teammates through practice and year-round training. He has shown that goals which seem impossible or too far away to reach are possible. Not only is Raab a great role model, but he receives a lot of support from his teammates in return.
Coach Trunkes said he would like to see Raab place in the top 20 at the SUNYAC championships and within the top 50 at Regionals. Raab said his a goal for the season is to complete an 8K at a time around 26:30. Raab had a time of 27:10 at the Paul Short invitational this year.
While the path to victory has been difficult, Trunkes, his teammates and Raab know that the work comes at the end of the race.