The cross-country Dinos showed their stuff one last time in the province of Alberta last Saturday. The Provincial Championships proved a successful outing as the men’s team placed second overall, and first in the university scoring. The women’s team, missing two key runners, placed third in both scorings.
This was the final race of the season for the women’s team who will retire their cross-country spikes and change into their track spikes. The men’s team, however, are still wearing their cross-country spikes, and will strap on their belt buckles in preparation for Nationals.
The men’s team arrived at last year’s CIAU’s wearing cowboy boots and cowboy hats, and boasting national champion Jeremy Deere. While Deere has since graduated, the Dinos proved this weekend that they still belong among Canada’s top five teams The race this weekend, which was won by the ever-present Deere, was definitely dominated by University of Calgary runners. Lanny Mann placed second with a 10km time of 32:59 showing that he is the main Dino–ready to step into Deere’s boots. The supporting cast, however, showed strength and determination by finishing all within the top 13 places. Steve MacIntyre placed 4th with a 10 km time of 33:39, Andrew Alley finished 6th with a time of 34:15, Nathan Kendrick placed 7th with a time of 34:37, and Brian Carruthers finished 11th with a time of 35:06. The final two runners on the team, Aaron Swanson and Gerry Stewart, placed a very respectable 12th and 13th place.
With the top five runners scoring, the U of C scored a low 30 points. Coach Doug Lamont was very pleased with this score, and stated that there is "no weak link this year," and that the Dinos should do extremely well at the national championships. As for telling how well, Lamont figures "definitely top five, possibly top three." The men’s team is currently tied for third in the national rankings, but as Lamont comments in praise of his team, "on any given day, you never know."
Lamont was also pleased with his women’s team as they showed perseverance by finishing third without their top two runners and without a full team. Sarah Dobson finished 9th with a 6km time of 27:07, Amber Mason finished 11th with a time of 27:22, Ashley Swelin finished 17th with a time of 28:25, and Sarah Brookes finished 18th with a time of 29:43. While the women’s team as a whole will not be attending nationals, they will be represented by Kristen Brennard. Brennard, who was ill on Saturday, will be ready to wear her belt buckle and cross country spikes by Nov. 13 to represent the Dinos at CIAU’s.
As for whether or not the eight runners will actually wear cowboy attire to the Nationals banquet this year, nothing appears planned quite yet. Nonetheless, the other teams will back out of their way because of the showing the Dinos will make during the race.