CSI's cross country season exceeds coach's expectations

TWIN FALLS, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) Two months ago Lindsey Anderson knew her cross country team was full of potential, but didn't know what to expect.

The College of Southern Idaho revived the program after a 19-year hiatus.

And now the head coach is leading the athletes to the NJCAA National Championships in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Four meets down and now the College of Southern Idaho Cross Country team prepares for the national championships.

The top seven men and women go from each team.

Head coach Lindsey Anderson said, "where we are the first team in our region to bring back cross country, we have to work with the league a little bit and send in results and prove that we are worthy to race the national championships since we don't have a region or conference championships."

"I think my goal for that race is to go top five for a team, I would really like to go top 20 overall which would be 19:20," Katie Christopherson explained, a freshman from Riverton, UT.

Most of these athletes have never competed collegiately before, aside from Erik Fitzpatrick who ran cross country at Oklahoma State and took some time off before giving CSI a shot. Anderson said he never used eligibility while he was there. Fitzpatrick graduated from Boise High School, earning the honors of 2007 Gatorade Idaho Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year and 2008 Gatorade Idaho Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year .

Like his teammates, Riley Taylor, a Pleasant Grove High School grad has made leaps and bounds since graduating.

Taylor said, "it's awesome to see Lindsey, how big of an influence on everyone, especially me, she has made my times in high school look pathetic. She has increased me onto a whole new level."

"Just seeing my progression, how I worked up from the team, I started out 6 or 7 and now I'm 4 or 5," Christopherson added.

For Anderson, she exclaimed, "I have loved this group and it's been better than what I hoped for."

Following the conclusion of the national championships, the team doesn't race again until January for the start of the long distance track season.

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