Cross Country Team Pushes Hard


Allen Community College photo

Allen’s cross country team is shaping up to have another stellar year in 2017.

Ke'Voughn Manning, Sports Editor

We Don’t Rest. Rest is for the Weak” is the motto of Allen Community College cross country head coach Vince Degrado. He and assistant coach Ryan Pulsifer lead the Red Devil runners as they seek more accolades for Allen’s program.

As the first National Junior College Athletic Association rankings slowly approach release within the next two weeks, the Red Devils cross country team is hoping for high placement in the Kansas Jayhawk East conference.

Although Degrado and Pulsifer are pleased with both the men and women’s performance thus far, they also see the possibility for big things to come in November.  As the intensity of training increases within the next few weeks, Degrado feels the most important aspect of the cross country team’s strategy is recovery and keeping athletes as healthy as possible.

Late season injuries would not be beneficial to the athlete or the team due to the fact that injuries are difficult to overcome, primarily because an injured athlete must rest, heal, and restart their training process all over again.  Both coaches believe in keeping all athletes healthy, but often there is just not enough time to rest and recuperate so and an athlete is left struggling in their final races.

Things will begin to shift in the leading positions because it’s still early in the cross country season, but as of right now the primary Red Devils firing things up are Paul Becker, Ludreche Bouanga, and Berry King of the men’s team. On the women’s side Abby Steinhauser, and Amber Gloria have shown to be the front runners.

As for the workouts, training is extremely individualized and broken down into mileage, intensity and types of workouts. The team is trained to increase effort, recovery, and repeat while maintaining mileage for strength.

The team’s goal this season is to compete at the highest level within the NJCAA and to land on a podium position at Nationals. Team members feel they will win conference and place favorably at nationals based on the performance and the hard work of the runners.

Pulsifer said he enjoys working with the cross country team. “I love my job because I get to help young men and women overcome many obstacles that I had to deal with as an athlete,” he said. “The goal is just to help the athletes do it easier and more successfully.”

Soon, the cross country team will face Division 1 and Division 2 schools at Missouri Southern, then they will compete at Oklahoma State University.

For information about the Allen cross country and track and field programs, readers can follow their Allen Red Devils Facebook page.