Athletics: Cross Country
During the last two decades, cross country at Muhlenberg College has risen from a casual collection of runners to a team committed to excellence in the pursuit of high achievements in the Centennial Conference and beyond.
Cross country season begins with a preseason training camp in late August and ends in mid-November with the NCAA Division III Mideast Region Championship, at which runners have the chance to qualify for the national championship. Muhlenberg runs mainly in multiple-team invitational meets, on Saturdays, with the competitive season beginning in September. The Mules regularly compete against some of the top Division III programs, including Dickinson, Johns Hopkins and 2010 men's national champion Haverford, and face stiff competition throughout the Centennial Conference, which annually places five teams in the top 10 at the regional meet.
Although no formal practices are held in the spring, most cross country runners stay in shape year-round by competing on the Muhlenberg track team.
Training consists of a mix of distance running, pace or tempo runs, off-track intervals and hill workouts and is done on cross country-style terrain, i.e. trails, grass, cinder pathways, dirt. Training sites include two nearby intercollegiate cross country championship courses, including the 5K, 8K and 10K NCAA layouts at Lehigh University; several locations in Allentown's scenic parks system; a state park; a corporate fitness park; and quiet country roads. Muhlenberg workouts are known for their high degree of organization, variety, creativity and participation by coaches.