Sophomore looks to finish season strong

Men´s Cross Country runner Dan Stock poses for a portrait on Thursday. Ben Cleary

Men´s Cross Country runner Dan Stock poses for a portrait on Thursday. Ben Cleary

By Erin Foley

Head men’s cross country coach Wendel McRaven said sophomore Dan Stock has nothing to lose in Monday’s NCAA National Championships.

Stock earned an individual bid to Nationals after finishing with a time of 31:30, good for 19th place at the NCAA Midwest Regional last weekend in Iowa City.

With a handful of teams battling for a trophy and 30 individuals battling for All-American honors, McRaven said he wants Stock to run a “purposeful race.”

“I would really like to see him put himself in the position to finish in the top 50 and race like he did at the Regional meet,” McRaven said.

Spring said in a National meet with such talent, it will be important to get up front in the race early and establish position.

“You have to go in there with a purpose, I’m not just there for the ride, or just to be there,” Stock said. “I want to get it done.”

In addition to running his race with a purpose, one of Stock’s goals for the meet will be for his 8K split of the 10K race to be faster than his 8K Pre-Nationals time of 24:52.

Now in the “tapering phase” of the season, Stock said he has decreased his workload but has been working to stay race-ready, running this past week with senior Eric Wallor and junior Trent Hoerr. McRaven said he has worked on maintaining his fitness.

While Stock qualifying for the National Meet may have come as a surprise to most people, and even his coach, McRaven said he is “one heck of a competitor.”

After he injured a foot tendon a few days after the season-opening meet at Iowa on Sept. 2, Stock was not able to race again until the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 15.

“It’s an honor to compete at Nationals and even more of an honor to run well,” Stock said. “It’s important not to put limits on myself. As the season progressed, I had a good idea what I could do.”

As only a sophomore, Stock will have the chance to compete at Nationals in the future. McRaven said the race will serve as invaluable experience for Stock.

“The neat thing is that he gets to go to the National Meet as only a sophomore, this is not his last shot,” McRaven said.

Once McRaven’s team returns redshirts Jason Bill, Jon Houseworth and Hoerr, McRaven knows Stock’s chance to run in the National meet will only benefit the team next year, when they hope to competitively compete on the national level.

While it is Stock and McRaven’s hope that Stock finishes in the top 50, the opportunity speaks for itself.

“I want to do what I can control, and then see how it all works out,” Stock said.