Because of the on-and-off smoky conditions in Moscow, the men’s and women’s cross country teams have taken to the pool to conduct some workouts.
“It’s been limited on the outdoor running,” Idaho cross country coach Tim Cawley said. “We’ve kind of mixed in some pool work and also done some treadmill work to kind of get some stuff in and then on some of the days it’s been a little clearer so we can get out and run.”
Cawley said his teams have also run in the Kibbie Dome. He said assistant coach Travis Floeck did a good job mixing in different swimming workouts. The teams did aqua jogging and swim races and then hit the treadmill, Cawley said.
Cawley said the athletes are doing a fine job despite the sometimes limited outdoor running.
“We’re still getting the volume in,” Cawley said. “We’re just having to be creative on ways to find it.”
Cawley said the teams have only been forced indoors for workouts for a few days and there were still enough days this week to complete workouts outside and a week before the first week of school the cross country teams practiced in McCall.
The men and women compete in their first meet of the fall at the Washington State-hosted Clash of the Inland Northwest meet Tuesday in Colfax, Washington, which is about 25 miles northwest of Moscow.
Besides Idaho and Washington State, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, Whitworth and Lewis-Clark State College are expected to compete. Cawley thinks Division II and III teams will compete also. The men’s 6,000 meter race starts at 6 p.m. and the women start right after at 6:30 with the 4,000 meter race.
The meet is scheduled for Tuesday but because of the wildfires in Washington and the unpredictable air quality index those fires are causing in surrounding areas, it’s difficult to tell what the conditions will be when Tuesday night comes.
“The thing about the smoke is it’s not even a day-by-day thing,” Cawley said. “It’s an afternoon by morning. Sometimes during the morning it’s terrible but by the afternoon it’s great. Sometimes during the morning it’s great and the afternoon is terrible. We’re hoping for the best and hopefully we get a chance to get a meet in that day.”
Cawley said it will be exciting to run close to Moscow.
“If for some reason we have to postpone it or change it or cancel it or whatever, then we’ll figure it out from there, but I know the athletes are excited to run,” Cawley said.
Cawley said you’re always looking forward to the first meet because you never know what to expect.
“You’re itching to kind of get out there,” Cawley said. “The athletes, they log a lot of miles so they can get out and race and that’s the fun part so everyone’s pretty excited.”
Right now, everyone is hoping the smoke goes away, Cawley said.
“Everyone’s hopeful that the fire stops too,” he said. “We don’t need the whole Northwest burning up.”
Cawley said one of the expectations for the first meet is to see where his teams are at and shake off the cobwebs.
“You never quite know what you’re going to get out of the first meet,” he said. “I try not to get too excited if things go great and I try not to get too disappointed if the team struggles because it’s the first meet.”
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CabezaGarrett
Photo by: Kira Hunter