For the men’s and women’s cross country team, October 16 was a great day for a whirlwind tour of Western Canada and an even better day for a race in Victoria. The seven men and two women representing the University of Calgary, hopped on a plane early Saturday morning, flew to Edmonton, Vancouver and then Victoria (where they had a small stretch break), then back to Vancouver, on to Kelowna, back to Edmonton, and finally back to Calgary where they hopped off the plane 12 hours later. If this sentence seemed to go on forever, just ask the cross country runners how they felt while traveling.
Nonetheless, the small stretch break in Victoria proved to be a successful one as the men’s team defeated seven other teams in the 1999 Vikes Invitational. Among those teams was the fourth ranked team in the nation, the University of Victoria Vikes. By defeating this team, the Dinos demonstrated their potential to place among the top four at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union championships which are less than a month away.
The men won the meet with 64 points, defeating the second place team by 10 points. Each of the seven runners had great individual races which obviously helped the team score. Larry Mann finished first among Dinos and second overall with an 8km time of 25:11, only seven seconds behind the first place finisher. The other Dinos that helped keep the score at a low 64 were Steve McIntyre (11), Nathan Kendrick (14), Andrew Alley (16) and Gerry Stewart (21). While Aaron Swanson (22) and Adrian Jorgensen (34) did not add to the Dinos score, they played an important role in keeping the other teams’ top five runners from having lower scores. Coach Doug Lamont was very impressed with Mann’s performance, as well as with other teammates showings.
"The supporting cast ran really strong races, but they’re always strong," he said.
Lamont had similar comments for the women’s runners who partook in this running excursion. While there were only two of them, Kristen Brennard and Krysta Monti, they represented the Dinos well by finishing 11th and 25th respectively in a 4km race. With Brennard "only getting stronger," according to Lamont, she has a bright future ahead of her for her next two years of racing.
The future does look bright for the Dinos. They have the Provincial Championships at Hawkridge Ranch to look forward to this weekend, as well as the CIAU championships in Kingston, Ont. in three weeks. With Brian Corr back from his own whirlwind tour of Montreal and the 10k Nationals, the men’s team hopes to dominate both meets. While doing a tour of Western Canada may sound like a fun thing to do on a Saturday, it is very difficult to have a race in the middle of the 12 hour tour. The Dinos not only showed they can conquer a great amount of distance in a small amount of time, but they also showed they can beat the other teams while doing this.
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