Assistant cross country and track and field coach Aaron Watson is in his first year at Temple, and the Roswell Friend Invitational was Watson’s second meet with the team. Before arriving on North Broad Street, Watson coached for three years at Grand Valley State, a Division II program.
Watson said that he gained valuable experience at GVSU and believes he’s prepared for the next step to the Division I level, as he said he believes there isn’t much of a difference between the Grand Valley athletes to the Temple runners. Watson said both schools have good programs and their athletes possess similar attributes. He had never been to Philadelphia upon taking the job, but said he has been adjusting well.
Given that the season is still very young, Watson said the team is trying to get their feet wet and get to a high level of fitness. Watson stressed the fact that, though this was like any other meet on their schedule, their goals for the second meet were much different than what they expect to accomplish later in the season.
“We used this kind of as more of a workout than an actual race,” Watson said, implying the team’s mindset for a meet early in the season isn’t necessarily to get instant results, but to continue to make strides towards where they’ll hope to be later on. “It was by no means an all-out effort, but still a very solid performance from the team and we got out of it what we needed to. That was the goal and we’re happy about that.”
Watson believes that the team will improve as they are predominantly a young team with mostly freshmen and sophomores. Ultimately he believes that having a young team will help his transition as he like many of the runners are new to Temple.
“They’re new, I’m new, so we’re still kind of feeling out each other and what exactly we’re looking for in the team in training.” Watson said.
Watson said he believes in the long run they’ll get to where they want to be. He believes things are off to a good start to get there.
“Overall, it’s been fun, and we’re in this ride together,” Watson said.