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Cross Country

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What makes CMS special?

 A:  Athletically:

  • An experienced full time coach with over 30 years of dedication to student athletes like yourself
  • A welcoming team that has been competitive regardless of year
  • Men and women train together (same location) for added support
  • Quality of competition – not only do we compete against some of the best collegiate athletes in the country, but also post-collegiate athletes
  • A well thought out training program that continually allows athletes to improve regardless of the level at which they enter the program

Academically:

  • Five prestigious liberal arts colleges contributing to academic growth and success
  • An average class size of 19 students yet over 2500 classes to choose from
  • No redshirting – you’ll graduate in four years
  • Our colleges focus on teaching undergraduates (you), not on research and graduate programs

Socially:

  • A small campus feel within a university setting
  • Great student diversity

 

Q: Why CMS?

A: There are many reasons why CMS is a great choice, including:

  • Active student life, including on the weekends
  • Since we are national liberal arts colleges, less than 40 percent of our students come from California
  • Campus housing is available all four years
  • We have over 230 clubs and organizations that you can be involved with
  • You’ll make friends here that will last your entire life.

 

Q: How much impact can I have next season?

A: Many things play into answering this question accurately for an individual.  Some things to consider are how you’ll adapt to life away from your family, sleep patterns and school/academic stresses.  All of these will play a part not only here at Claremont, but also at any school you choose to attend.  Your impact athletically is based primarily on three things A) talent, B) background and C) focus.

Having coached for over 30 years, I understand the physical, social and academic stresses placed on freshmen.  Our program is adapted to take these pressures and your adaption to college running into account.  On a practical side, we have a weekly “frosh run.”  This is where the freshmen run together, allowing them not to be influenced by the upperclassmen’s pace.  Additionally, double day training is kept to one day a week of running versus the two or three the upperclassmen may do. 

Upon choosing to attend one of our colleges, I contact your high school coach to get a perspective on your background, strengths and weaknesses, and finally your imput is used in establishing your specific needs.

 

Q: What is an example of a week's training?

A: We train on a hard-easy day schedule, but even that rule has exceptions at different parts of the season.  A typical week at mid-season might look like the following;

  • Mon – off
  • Tues – Hard day: Repeats or Hard base, PM 2nd session of 30 minute run and strength training
  • Wed – Recovery day Base run between 45-55 minutes
  • Thurs – Hard base, Tempo or Long repeats, PM 2nd session of 30 minute run and strength training
  • Fri – Base run between 45 and 65 minutes
  • Sat – Meet or Hard repeat over a course that we will be racing on late in the season plus strength training
  • Sun – LSD (long slow distance) from between 75 and 100 minutes – these runs are most often done on soft surface areas including places like bike trails, mountains and Laguna Beach State Park.  We try to make Sunday runs interesting and in different places where we don’t train during the week
Q: How many miles a week do you run?

A: That depends on several factors including background, strength, perceived benefits and the time of the season.  Most basically we are a moderate mileage, higher intensity program. Since being a team has special meaning here within the CMS program both our men and women train together.  We do individualize your particular training based on the four factors above.  You should understand that we will not overload you with lots of non-pounding activities like pool work, biking or elliptical training while in our program.

 

Q: Who makes the team?

A: Everyone who has the desire, work ethic and focus is welcome to run as a Stag or Athena.  I believe anyone can benefit from our program.  I have seen many athletes who entered college with little more than a good attitude and work ethic and after two or three years in our program earned a spot on our national team.  Athletes can do some amazing thing if given the chance; I enjoy giving these people a chance.

Q: Who competes?

A: Everyone on our roster attends each meet unless we are limited in entries.  Unlike many programs, our philosophy is that all individuals make up our team not just the top few.  We don’t have A or B schedules for different ability athletes either and no one is treated like a second-class athlete.

Q: How much missed class time is there?

A: Very little.  Meets in college are normally held on Saturdays, so we don’t have mid week dual meets like many high schools.  Being located in Southern California allows us to travel less than 50 miles and compete against many top NCAA Division 1 and 2 teams, as well as some of the best NAIA programs.  On any given Saturday, we will leave for a meet at 6AM and may be back in Claremont for brunch at Noon, having competed in a meet with over 200 entrants.

Q: Is it possible to balance a quality athletic program and challenging academic curriculum?

A: The simple answer is yes.  For proof look at our roster, each athlete listed came to Claremont with the focus on receiving a strong academic education.  Not all of our athletes have the potential to be All-American, but each choose to compete because they enjoy the program and find it a valuable expenditure of their time.  Our athletes graduate in 4 years and are prepared to enter graduate school or the job market.  They major in subjects as diverse as Engineering and Art, Biochemistry and Economics and they are all part of one of the strongest teams at the Division III level.

Q: How does the team interact with one another?  What is the atmosphere like?

A: We have an extremely close-knit team.  The support within the team is extremely important to me, as well as our team members.  This importance is why we train daily together, have breakfast together after our workout and do lots of the things you may have experienced in high school – movie nights, team dinners, frosh-soph basketball game, puffy paint T-shirts or hair bows – and maybe some things you haven’t experienced – Do Day, Christmas caroling, bake-offs and many other activities.  These activities flourish because of our coaches’ support and great team leadership.

CMS is one of the few college programs in the country that has a dedicated Head Cross-Country Coach for both men and women.  We chose this model in 2010 when Coach Goldhammer stepped down as the Head Track Coach to focus on building the distance program as a national power.  This model focuses on a truly welcoming program where each athlete feels valued and appreciated. This feeling is the basis of a great team atmosphere.

Q: Where do you train?

A: Since college cross-country is normally contested on grass courses, we train 80 percent of the time on soft surface.  Most distance runners enjoy variety in training locations and our program takes pride in keeping it interesting.  We train in the mountains behind the colleges, the beach, the desert, state, regional and city parks, bike trails and around the athletic fields on our campuses.

Q: What next?

A: If you might be interested in one or more of our colleges please feel free to contact Coach Goldhammer.  It is important that we are aware of your interest.  We can be a valuable asset in the information collection, as well as a valuable resource for you.