Rick Cummins - Wayne State Coach - 12th Place Men/Women at NCAA

Rick Cummins - Wayne State Coach - 12th Place Men/Women at NCAA

Rick Cummins - Wayne State Coach - 12th Place Men/Women at NCAA
Provided by Runmichigan.com

Rick Cummins is the cross country coach at Wayne State. His men's and women's team both qualified for the NCAA Div II National Cross Country Championships. Both teams finished 12th, making it another successful year for their crew. Read on to find out how Coach Cummins felt the meet went and to see what his thoughts are on the future.

RM: Congrats on your men's and women's team both finishing 12th. What were your goals heading into the NCAA meet?

RC: We wanted to finish the year strong – we didn’t taper much at all for conference and region. We wanted to be better than last year and thought we could crack the top 10 if someone else ran poorly. That didn’t happen and we ended up where we should have been.

RM: How did you feel about how your teams performed? What would you have done different if you could prepare your teams for the race all over again?

I was very pleased with our efforts. We had a couple of kids that could have run a bit faster but every team can say that. As a group we were very solid and finished the season well. Both races were very deep. As for doing it over again, hindsight is 20/20. A couple of our kids still don’t believe that they can run at this level. I’d probably spend more time trying to convince them that they belonged in this race. I thought our preparation was good. The results show that our team got stronger. We beat teams at Nationals that beat us earlier in the year and we widened the gap between teams that were close to us.
RM: What were your goals for the both teams heading into the season?

RC: Our goals never change: Qualify for Nationals, Top 10 in the Nation, Top 3 in the Region, Win the GLIAC title. I want every kid in our program to strive to be as good as they can be. We can’t worry about what other teams do, we can only control what we do. The goals for Abdullah and Rachelle were to finish off their careers with All-America honors. That was very gratifying to see them accomplish that.
RM: How will these performances affect recruiting for your program?

RC: I’m not sure. I would hope that high school kids would look at our program’s results and consider attending Wayne State University. Our men and women have been at the National Championships 11 times since 2001 and that speaks volumes to the work ethic of our kids. There are many reasons that a solid distance runner should consider our program.
RM: When you look forward to next year, what do you think about with regard to team goals?

We want to be at the NCAA Championships at Southern Indiana and get better than this year. Our region is very deep and we only get 3 teams out so it won’t be easy. I’m not going into a season with only 5 women that can score on a regional qualifier again. My immediate goal is to get a couple of our current kids healthy and then bury myself in recruiting. There are some quality kids out there, I just need to find them.