Sean Buck, senior captain of Colorado College Men’s Cross Country Team, has been on the team since his freshman year at CC and has been running since his freshman year of high school. He said that following his last season, his biggest fear is all the free time he will have if he stops training.
“Because most of our team also runs track [which goes nearly all of spring semester], people don’t
realize that we have about one block all year [4th block] that we are not in season—competing and doing workouts,” Buck said. “You really have to commit to training to be successful at the collegiate level. It’s not a sport where you can take a day off, and we certainly can get a bit burnt out by the end of the year. But it’s definitely worth it because in cross country and track we have a quantifiable
representation of our training, so you get to see the rewards.”
The team won the Regional meet last year, but Buck said that some of their best runners graduated in the spring. He said they would have a better idea of the team’s strength in October when they compete in low-altitude meets.
“Our team historically exceeds expectations in October because we don’t focus on hammering early
season workouts; it’s the late season where we become really competitive,” Buck said. “Our coach,
Ted, seems to do a good job of getting most of the team to peak at the correct times.”
Head Coach Ted Castaneda has been coaching the men’s team at CC since 1980. He began coaching
women in 1992 when the teams combined.
“Both teams [men’s and women’s] are in a rebuilding mode, but both have high hopes to take it beyond that,” Casteneda said. “We really won’t have a better answer for that until we get into the month of October, which we call ‘Hammer Time!’”
Castaneda went to the University of Colorado and set numerous running records as well winning the All American title five times with a combination of cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. He also went to two U.S. Olympic Trials and has traveled the world for distance running events.
“It is a individual sport but it also has team aspects to it,” Castaneda said. “Ultimately, your success is dependent on what you put into it. In a team sport, a coach has to go with his top athletes and some are left on the bench who could make a breakthrough. As a coach, you have to go for these team wins to make the playoffs and at times you can’t let others play to do this. In cross country, all are able to compete.”
And if the team keeps up with their training, they should have a good year.
“The team is a phenomenal group of hardworking people that aren’t too internally competitive,” Buck
said. “We work together to make cross country more of a team sport, which can be challenging when
so much of the focus is on individuals.”
“I’m very proud of both teams, my coaching staff, and team captains who are helping to mold these teams,” Casteneda said. “If both teams continue to work hard, stay healthy, and believe in themselves we are in for one great ride come October.”