Two of Drake’s men’s cross country athletes qualified for the NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championships, which took place on Nov. 20 in Tallahassee, Fla.
Junior Adam Fogg finished in 139th place with a time of 30:30.7. Sophomore teammate Issac Basten placed 217th with a time of 31:33.8.
Fogg and Basten were the first Drake cross country runners to compete at the championship since Reed Fischer in 2016.
“It felt great for me and my teammate Isaac to be the first NCAA Cross Country qualifiers from Drake since 2016,” Fogg said. “In saying that though, based on our track seasons last year and our fitness levels, I would have definitely considered it a disappointing season if we missed out on qualifying. We’ve now definitely shown that we’re amongst the best runners in the country and it was great to make it to the national stage for my third NCAA Championships.”
The Bulldogs competed on a 10,000-meter course at the Apalachee Regional Park.
Although it was warmer than what he was used to in Des Moines, Fogg said that the course itself was a bigger factor on his race.
“The course was meant to be pretty suited to track runners — which sounded ideal for me and Isaac, but it turned out to be quite the opposite,” Fogg said. “I tried to get out pretty hard, and I knew on a good day I could be in the top 40 to become a Cross Country DI All-American, but a couple of miles in I knew I was in for a tough day.”
Fogg explained that because there was “one monster hill” for each of the four laps, everyone performed differently than expected.
“Cooper Teare who is the current NCAA 5000m champion from Oregon had to crawl over the line, and Yared Nuguse who is a USA 1500m Olympian, missed out on finishing in the top 150 runners,” Fogg said. “I was 139th — nowhere near the result I wanted, but based on how it turned out for a lot of guys, it could have been a lot worse. I know I definitely didn’t get to show my true racing potential, but track season is just around the corner, and I’m very excited for it.”
Fogg trained for the fall season by doing three months of 90-105 miles per week over the summer in England, as well as workouts once at Drake.
Fogg explained that the NCAA championship in Florida means the collegiate season is over and the indoor track season will begin.
Sophomore Jack Burns, Fogg’s cross country and track & field teammate, said after the cross country season ended he trained with lower mileage and his workouts were shorter to prepare for the indoor season.
“I’m more focused on track than cross country, so I had more of a lowkey season,” Burns said. “I ran at two meets this fall and I think both went pretty well and were a lot of fun. It was also my first time racing cross country in college since we didn’t have a true season last year, and [I’ve] honestly been having more fun with it than I thought I would.”
When asked how he felt about his teammates Fogg and Basten going to the NCAA championship, Burns said he was really happy for them.
“I see how hard they work everyday at practice and it was great to see the duo qualify during their final cross country season together,” Burns said.
Fogg said he will either be focusing on competing in the mile or the 3000m, but hasn’t decided yet.
“I’ll hopefully open up my season with a 3000m before winter break, and then when we come back in January we really get rolling with it,” Fogg said. “I’ll be hoping to replicate (or better) my 2021 indoor season where I came 4th at NCAAs in the indoor mile in a school record of 3:57.32 – I’m excited by the thought of it and can’t wait to be racing again soon.”
Burns said this year was better in comparison to last year as last fall they weren’t able to have any races because of COVID-19. The team just had practices together and did a few time trials during the fall season. They were able to have some competitions for the indoor and outdoor track season, but had to wear masks unless they were racing and had to report everyday if they had any COVID symptoms.
“The highlight of the season has got to be winning conference as a team – something that hasn’t happened at Drake since 1999,” Fogg said. “It was a very special day and it was great for us to be able to celebrate it as a team. Again, it demonstrated our hard work, and the hard work of our coach – Jay Koloseus, paying dividends. Jay has been a great leader and coach throughout my time at Drake and he is a major asset to us as individuals and as a team.”