Q&A with cross-country; Buffs preview 2015 season

Published 2:57 pm Monday, August 24, 2015

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Aug. 24, 2015) — JJ Robinson, Jay Solinger, Ashton Bunch, Brandon Ellis and Hannah Segrave took part in a Q&A where they identified what they look forward to, how the team looks, and what can be expected of Milligan College cross-country this season. The Buffs will start the upcoming schedule on Friday, Sept. 4, with the third annual Buffalo Valley Cross Country Stampede in Unicoi.

What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming season?

Robinson: Being able to run with my teammates again. My teammates are the ones who push me to become a better runner.

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Bunch: Summer training has been good, but I am ready to be running with my team and see where all the hard work will fall into place when it comes race time.

What are you looking forward to most about the Buffalo Valley Stampede at the start of the season?

Robinson: I am really excited to see improvements from last year. It will also be great to be competing with my team again.

Bunch: As the first race of the season, I am anxious to see what my time will be and see how all the girls will do racing together, and hopefully we can push each other on the course.

Ellis: I’m excited to see how our new team stacks up against other schools in our conference.

Segrave: I am excited to get back and race. It is a nice course and should be a fun race.

Where do you see the team finishing in the conference?

Bunch: The goal is first place like we have been for the past 12 years! Everyone will have to give 110% to accomplish this goal!

Solinger: I could honestly see a first place finish if we utilize our talent and get the most out of our training.

Ellis: It will be hard to do; however, we have a chance to win conference this year. This would be the first time in several years.

What are your personal goals this season?

Segrave: My personal goals this season are to become All-American, go sub-18 before conference, and try to get Milligan’s record or an all-time top 10.

Solinger: I would personally like to hit the 25:30 mark in the 8k and qualify along with our team into nationals.

Robinson: To be a contributor to the team and beat my PR from last year.

Bunch: I hope to be in the low 19-minute range!

Ellis: 25:20 mark for the 8k.

What are the team’s goals this season?

Bunch: This year will be a challenge, but I hope that we can use each other to push ourselves and make it to nationals!

Segrave: One of our major goals this season is to win conference and run well at Sandshark as this is an important meet for us.

Ellis: We need our top 5 to be at least under 27 minutes, but I would like for us to be under 26:40.

Robinson: To win conference and make it to nationals.

Solinger: I haven’t spoken to anyone about our team goals, but I would assume it would be making nationals and preparing to dominate next season.

How does this year’s team compare to last year’s? What areas will be improved?

Segrave: We are a much younger team. There are no seniors so that will be a change from previous years. However, we have a good group of sophomores and juniors who know the ropes well and who will be able to help any incoming freshmen.

Ellis: Last year’s team had much more experience racing at the college level. Over half of our team this year will be made up of freshmen. This will be a big motivator for the older guys to keep pushing hard and I am excited about the positive energy. Hopefully the guys will learn quickly how to be tactical during a race.

Bunch: We lost four of our top seven girls and we are gaining two freshmen. As a team we have potential because every teammate is doing nothing but improving!

What do you see as the biggest challenge/obstacle to overcome this season?

Segrave: Winning conference, as we have had such a long winning streak other schools obviously want to win it, but it’s become a tradition which we want to keep going.

Bunch: The biggest obstacle is the fact that we have a smaller team than last year, but we can overcome that obstacle by staying healthy and making sure that all 10 girls are prepared each race!

Robinson: We lost two great seniors from last year, so I think the biggest challenge will be being a young team with not as much experience.

Solinger: I would have to say how young our team is will be our biggest obstacle. This will be a big motivation going into this season/next. With no seniors on the team, I think we will have to come together and use what we have.

Ellis: Replacing the hole left by the old captain, Christian Brewerwith the new freshmen. It will be a catching up game.

What will be the key to success for the team this season?

Bunch: We will succeed by remembering that everyone is capable and we have potential. We will overcome the fear that we have at the starting line by working hard and finishing every race with all that we have in us!

Segrave: Most importantly I think buying in to the program is important for success. I think communication will be important and having good leaders who will guide the team.

Solinger: Coming together as one unit will be a huge factor in making it to nationals and having a successful season. We have a lot of talent and hopefully it will transition well into racing form.

Robinson: Working together and keeping each other accountable.

Ellis: Keeping the freshmen healthy and motivated.