The Dynamic Duo: The Unstoppable Kerr!

Don’t make Geoff Kerr run far. You wouldn’t like him when he runs far.

In four cross country events this season, Kerr placed first. As a result, he won the Canadian Interuniversity Sport cross country athlete-of-the-year award. In two CIS track and field events, the Canada West championships and the CIS championships, Kerr won gold in the 1,500 metre and 3,000m events, resulting in a male track athlete-of-the-year award. With so many wins, the most difficult race of the year should be a tough thing to nail down, but for Kerr it comes easy: the one event he didn’t win.

“Probably the hardest race was the 3K I ran in Seattle,” said Kerr, who ran the 3K in Seattle in January two weeks before the Canada West championships. “It was the one individual track race I lost to a couple NCAA guys. It was a really, really fast race. The tactics of Canada West and CIS are really intense, but since it’s more of a championship race, it’s more the stress of the moment than the extreme difficulty of the pace that gets you.”

Though a runner winning big in cross country and then following it up with CIS gold in both the distance events is not unheard of, it’s still a feat that will be tough to top.

“The focus will be outdoors to try and run fast, and the world university games if everything goes well,” said Kerr. “Next year, to try and repeat it. Do it again and try to run faster at CIS.”

The former CIS rookie of the year has fairly modest goals, admitting that being named track and field CIS athlete of the year, like his dynamic partner Jessica Zelinka, is tough to shoot for. A strong performance by a field athlete, or another track athlete, is out of his control.

“Most of those awards are hard to aim for,” noted Kerr. “I can do what I can in my events but I can’t control what anyone else does. If a jumper decides to go crazy and wins four or five jumping events–I’m unable to do that many events. I’m happy I ran my races well, and if that leads to other awards, that’s cool.”

Going into the CIS championships as cross country athlete of the year and seeded first in both the 1,500m and 3,000m brought some added pressure, admitted Kerr. But it didn’t faze him. He won the 3,000 by almost two seconds over his next competitor.

“The team’s expecting you to win,” said Kerr. “Your points are expected. When you’re ranked first, the only place you can go is down. There’s definitely some added pressure. But it’s also nice to go in knowing that you’ve run faster than everyone in the field this year. It balances itself out.”

This was Kerr’s fourth year of eligibility and he will be back for a fifth. Looking forward, he feels a Canada West title is in the team’s grasp. A Canada West title would be more evidence of how far this program has come. After a season four years ago when not a single Dinos male athlete qualified for the CIS championships, the Dinos finished fourth in Montreal at the 2007 track and field championships, the top placing for a Canada West school.

“Right now a tentative goal would be to try and bring home a CW title for the men,” said Kerr. “At the start of my career here, there was no way we would’ve been in contention for a title. To even talk about a title is exciting. For it to happen in my fifth year, it would be a really nice way to end it. The good team results are good. Hopefully it’ll build towards a good men’s program because the women’s program has been really strong. It’d be good for the men’s program to step up and make it to their level.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.