LCU Cross Country Team Races Towards Unity


During the coronavirus pandemic, the LCU athletics program has been forced to wonder whether it would have the opportunity to ring in the Fall with regularly scheduled games and events. Coach Leigh Cordes gives us insight to her experience throughout this time of uncertainty, and details about the cross country team’s anticipated meet.


Leigh Cordes is from Lubbock and has been coaching at LCU alongside her husband Nick Cordes for six years. She specializes in women’s cross country and says that, “being hardworking and really loving the sport makes people successful whether they are fast or not.”

Although she holds the title of coach, Coach Cordes enjoys passing down useful life applications to her team more than the coaching itself.

It’s really cool to see kids come in being so young and then in four years how much they’ve changed and grown,” she said.

Adapting with Agility

With COVID-19 in the picture, Coach Cordes and the team faced a new obstacle to overcome.

The most challenging part was being away from the athletes for so long — we did Zoom, phone calls, emails, texts, but it’s just not the same as physically being with people,” she said.

Coach Cordes proudly says her athletes fulfilled their responsibilities even amid discouragement and lack of motivation.

During the break we sent them workouts and tried to keep them motivated — we knew it would be hard … but they far exceeded our expectations,” she said.

With new athletes joining the team, she said it is odd to build bonds with everyone in a new environment where faces are masked, and the coaches are made to be “COVID-19 regulators” rather than coaches.

“We are trying to think out of the box and be more creative,” she said, with a positive outlook.

An Event Worth Watching

Luckily, the cross-country team has at least four meets to look forward to, including one on its own LCU campus. At the LCU College Invite on Sept. 25, three LCU runners placed in the top 25 as the Lady Chaps took fifth place out of seven teams. This meet had the distinction of being the only sporting event taking place on the LCU campus this semester.

We feel so blessed that we live in a part of the country where they’ve been able to facilitate some sporting events in general and that we’re at a university that feels comfortable and really looked at our sport separately from the others,” Coach Cordes concludes.

For the remaining schedule this semester and scoring updates, check the LCU women’s cross country page at


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