The University of Calgary Dinos women’s cross country team continued their undefeated streak at last weekend’s 2006 Stewart Cup at Canmore Park in Calgary.
The Dinos were led by Heather Sim, who placed sixth overall and was the top varsity finisher with a time of 18:38 in the five kilometre race. Sim was joined by six of her Dinos teammates in the top 30: Emily Stevenson (16th), Hilary Johnston (17th), Riley McQueen (19th), Shauna Skinner (22nd) Melissa Kalyn (25th) and Kim Ball (26th). The Dinos finished with a combined time of 1:36:44, a full three minutes faster than the second place University of Alberta Pandas. The field of 70 competitors included both varsity and club runners from across western Canada. Olympic runner Malindi Elmore of the U of C Athletic Club finished the course with an outstanding time of 17:11, one minute ahead of the next competitor. UCAC took the silver medal overall, thanks to strong performances from other athletes such as All-Canadian and retired Dino Shannon Popowich who placed fourth in the event. Dinos captain Lindsay Winter was sidelined with illness, but is expected to make a recovery in time to be a contender at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in Laval.
Men’s team captain Geoff Kerr won the 10 km race with a time of 32:03, placing him over a minute ahead of the next varsity finisher and 10 seconds ahead of Dinos alumni runner Nathan Kendrick. The men’s team placed third in the 83-man field in the varsity division, behind the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta. Jon Bird (16th), Andrew Carruthers (29th), Brad Hove (31st), and Owen deLange (33rd) placed in the top 35 for Calgary.
It was a frosty day in the hills of Canmore Park, but it didn’t bother Kerr, who took the men’s top varsity position.
“The course was difficult, but the conditions were close to ideal,” said Kerr.
The annual Stewart Cup Memorial race is held interchangeably in Edmonton and Calgary, as a tribute to former U of C and U of A runners and brothers Gerry and Brian Stewart, who vanished while mountain climbing in Russia in 2003.
The Dinos selected Heather Sim, Lindsay Winter, Emily Stevenson, Hilary Johnston, Riley McQueen, Shauna Skinner and Melissa Kalyn to represent the women; Geoff Kerr, Jon Bird, Andrew Carruthers, Brad Hove, Owen deLange, Neal Austin and Matt Cloutier will represent the men at the 2006 CIS cross country championships, which will be hosted Sat., Nov. 11 by Université de Laval in Quebec City.