Second year racer Veronika Fagan ran UBC Okanagan to cross country victory in Edmonton.
EDMONTON, AB -- The men’s and women’s UBC Okanagan cross-country teams competed this past weekend at the ACAC Grand Prix #1 meet in Edmonton, Alberta. The event was hosted by Concordia University of Edmonton.
With an early start to the season, Edmonton brought on a tough course and obstacles for the Kelowna squad to overcome. The adavnced course included a number of single track sections and at least five or six hard climbs, throughout the course the Heat were able to excel and show that their preseason training had paid off.
In the collegiate division the women’s team took home the gold, with second year runner Veronika Fagan (West Kelowna, BC) finishing with the top time and individual gold finishing the 5k in 20 minutes (20:47).
In the men’s collegiate division, the Heat finished in second overall in the eight kilometre race, with another second year runner, Michael Mitchell (Kimberly, BC) finishing second in the race with a time of (30:14).
"I’m extremely proud of how they raced. The strength they showed on the race course really speaks to the hard work every athlete has put in during the past 10 months," second year coach Collin Wallace said following the early season competition.
Also scoring for the women's team was Anna Merino (21:46), Camille Galloway (22:28), and Rachel Garrett (23:02). Displacing for UBCO were Alea Stockton (23:33) and Julianna Neudorf (23:41).
Travelling with just four runners on the men's side all Heat competitors counted towards the team score. Mitchell was chased by Cael Warner (31:18), Samuel Goodrich (32:52), and Austin White (36:55).
With the first weekend of competition finished the Heat are now preparing for their dual meet on home turf this upcoming weekend (Sept. 17) at UBC Okanagan and will be looking to keep improving their times as they will host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
"I am really looking forward to the next race, and seeing how competitive this group will be. On the women’s side, we have a lot of ladies trying out for the team, so that should ensure everyone is stepping up in each workout to show what they’re made of. The men’s races in the CCAA are always extremely competitive, so our guys know they have to put the work in and make every practice count this season," said coach Wallace.
Finishing the first weekend of competition coach Wallace was grateful for the Heat's opportunity to compete in Edmonton and said "I would like to personally thank Matt Norminton from Concordia University of Edmonton for inviting us out to the race. It was a great experience for our athletes and really opened our eyes to the work that still needs to be done if we are to be competitive at CCAA Nationals this November."
The six kilometre start time for the men this weekend is 11 a.m. and the women, who run a four kilometre course, at 11:45 a.m. at Quail Ridge Linear Park Trail, Kelowna, BC Starting at the Quail Crescent parking lot (bottom trail). MAP1 | MAP2.
~ Tia Sadler // Heat communications.