Men's and Women's Cross Country (CCAA National Championships)
Saturday, November 14th, 2015
Memorial Park, St. Lawrence College, Brockville, ON
BROCKVILLE, ON – The UBC Okanagan women's cross country used a team approach to secure a national silver medal at the 2015 Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) Cross Country National Championships, hosted by St. Lawrence College (Brockville campus), the second time in the last two years the Heat have medaled at the national championships.
UBC Okanagan's four runners that scored finished (19), (23), (32), (36) to score 82 points (the lower the score the better in cross country running), the Heat only trailed College Lionel-Groulx as the Quebec team won the event with 29 points. Third place was Lethbridge College with 105 points.
First year coach Colin Wallace correctly assessed the competition at the race and utilized a bunching strategy to finish on the podium.
"Every other team was so spread out," Wallace explained. "So I told the women to pack up and run as a team." The Heat runners were very successful in this regard as only 33 seconds separated their first finisher and their fourth finisher.
The top runner for UBC Okanagan was Veronika Fagan, the first year nursing student from West Kelowna was the 19th female to cross the finish line (20:06.7), Jessy Lacourse (Cégep de Victoriaville), was the first runner to cross the line in the women’s 5km race, finishing in 18:33.
Another nursing student, Camille Galloway was the second Heat runner to cross the line (23, 20:13.3), she was trailed by Alison Gill (32, 20:33.4) and Julianna Neudorf (36, 20:39.1) to round out the scoring runners for UBC Okanagan.
"We executed our race plan to perfection. The ladies all ran a smart race, and incredible performances by Ali Gill and Julianna Neudorf locked up the team silver medal, " finished Wallace.
Displacers were Anna Merino (50, 20:58) and Rachel Garrett (58, 21:09), Merino was the lone UBC Okanagan runner on that 2013 team, Neudorf was on the Heat team in 2013 and at the competition in Toronto but was unable to compete.
BIB | Name Team Catg Rank Official Time Hometown 251 | Cael Warner UBC Okanagan MALE 22 00:27:45.5 Penticton, BC 255 | Niels De Vries UBC Okanagan MALE 57 00:29:09.5 Calgary, AB 250 | Michael Mitchell UBC Okanagan MALE 59 00:29:13.2 Kimberley, BC 253 | Sam Goodrich UBC Okanagan MALE 60 00:29:14.6 Prince George, BC 254 | Alex Hansen UBC Okanagan MALE 61 00:29:15.6 London, ON 252 | Mackenzie Wong UBC Okanagan MALE 72 00:29:58.2 Vancouver, BC BIB | Name Team Catg Rank Official Time Homwtown 257 | Veronika Fagan UBC Okanagan FEMALE 19 00:20:06.7 West Kelowna, BC 259 | Camille GallowayUBC Okanagan FEMALE 23 00:20:13.3 Whitehorse, YK 261 | Alison Gill UBC Okanagan FEMALE 32 00:20:33.4 Calgary, AB 258 | Julianna NeudorfUBC Okanagan FEMALE 36 00:20:39.1 Yellowknife, NWT 260 | Anna Merino UBC Okanagan FEMALE 50 00:20:58.4 Calgary, AB 256 | Rachel Garrett UBC Okanagan FEMALE 58 00:21:09.2 Surrey, BC
Cael Warner, for the second year in a row, was once again the top finisher on the men's side for UBC Okanagan, the Penticton runner finished 22nd overall in a field of more than 100 runners in a time of 27:45, a trio of newcomers to the team were the reaming scorers for the Heat, who finished in tenth place at the championships. Neils De Vries (29:09), Michael Mitchell (29:13) and Sam Goodrich (29:14) finished 57th, 59th, and 60th retrospectively, the Heat finished with 167 points.
Coach Wallace, who ran for the Heat men's team last fall in Calgary at the national championship where they experienced their best results at a championship ever, seventh, thought his team "gained a lot of valuable experience," and that "they ran hard," and looks for the young team will build on that experience and "that will only serve to strengthen the athletes mentally as the program develops."
Displacers on the men's side were Alex Hansen who was just one second behind Goodrich, (61, 29:15) and was part of four UBCO runners finishing within six seconds of one another, and Mackenzie Wong who crossed the line in 72nd place. Wong ran the eight kilometre race in 29 minutes and 58 seconds.
From the host school St. Lawrence College (SLC), but from their Kingston campus (OCAA), came the race winner. Viking Rob Asselstine beat the field of over 100 runners to finish first overall in 26:21 at this year’s National Championship.
Seth Marcaccio of Fanshawe College ran a great race finishing in second place, just three seconds behind Asselstine in 26:24. Guillaume Chenard of Cégep de Sherbrooke was the third runner to cross the line, finishing in 26:25.
Led by the Bronze medal finish from Chenard, Cégep de Sherbrooke won Gold in the men's team division.
HEAT NOTE: This is the second National Silver medal won by UBC Okanagan this fall. The women's golf team also did the trick a month ago in Chilliwack at the golf championship. Video of Colin Wallace interviewed at championship.
UBC Okanagan’s finishes at the CCAA national cross country championships (M | W)
2015 (10th | 2nd) @ St. Lawrence College, Memorial Park, Brockville, ON
2014 (7th | 5th) @ SAIT, Confederation Park, Calgary, AB
2013 (10th | 1st) @ Humber College, Humber Arboretum, Etobicoke, ON.
2012 (10th | 4th) @ Ste. Lambert, Parc Michel-Chartrand in Longueuil, QB
2011 (13th | 13th) @ Thompson Rivers, MacArthur Island Park, Kamloops, BC