Two weeks of running and gunning

The University of Calgary cross-country team ran the dogg’d mile in the coastal heartland of their Nordic enemies the University of Victoria Vikings over the weekend. Though the Vikings were undoubtedly the conquerers de jour, the U of C team managed to capture a portion of their rival’s booty in the form of a women’s bronze.

Kristen Brennand clocked in a mere six seconds behind two Vikes, Liz Ramage and Heather Goodfellow, who captured gold and silver, respectively. The spawn of Odin smashed the hammer of Thor upon their rivals however, capturing six of the top 10 spots in the New Balance Vikes Invitational Cross Country meet.

Thankfully, Tania Vander Meulen prevented a total route with her eighth place finish allowing Calgary to retain dignity for what was Meulen’s first race of the year. Combined with the results of runners Orianna Rollo, Jackie Jones and Sarah Dobson, the team placed third, beating our soft northern rivals from the University of Alberta.

Men’s results were, by contrast, a little more on the can’t-do-much-worse-than-dead-last side of the scale as the boys handily seized fifth of five. With the Vikings taking first, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the U of A Golden Bears second and third, it was the Vikings’ alumni old-timers, whose fearsome reputation as the toothless-hobblers of the marauding business apparently provided them with a fourth place finish.

The best showing for the Dino’s men was Aaron Swanson in 12th place at 26:21 narrowly missing first place Viking Jerry Ziak who finished at 24:29. It was barely enough time to shower, change and greet the Calgary finishers. Teles Kanaga was only seconds behind his teammate for 13th place.

Fortunately, the U of C escaped last place individually, an honour that went to the Vikes’ Derek Meiner. Perhaps he was crippled by laughter and unable to trounce us with the rest of his brood.

Look for the redemption-seeking Dinos on Oct. 27 in Edmonton where the addition of Nathan Kendrick to the men’s squad may improve their results.

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