The Vanderbilt men's and women's cross country teams recently spent time at Pickett State Park in Jamestown, Tenn., for its annual team camp. This marks the fourth consecutive season that the Commodores have utilized Pickett State Park for their team camp in preparation for the upcoming season. Assistant coach Bekah Smeltzer lauded Pickett State Park as the team's site for camp. "Pickett State Park offers everything that our team needs. We have access to a bunch of rolling dirt roads where the athletes can spread out. Our emphasis training wise is about getting in some quality runs on some quality surfaces, nothing too complicated."
Aside from the benefits that team camp provides from a conditioning standpoint, it also provides the teams with an opportunity to come together as a group and build important team chemistry. Smeltzer also touched on how the upperclassmen took the younger athletes under their wing, "Team camp is the optimal time where we are able to set the tone for the rest of the year. I love how our upperclassmen lead the way in cultivating the culture for the program. There's also minimal cell service, so entertaining each other requires some creativity and actually brings the group closer together."
Both the men's and women's teams will begin competition on Sept. 2 at the Belmont Opener, which will be hosted at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The women's race is scheduled to kick things off at 9 a.m. (CT) and the men are slated for a 9:30 a.m. start time. Check back to vucommodores.com next week for a meet preview and follow the program on Twitter @vandyxctrack for team updates.