The team had its ups and downs this season. The men’s program suffered a great blow when all but one member of last year’s stellar team didn’t return due to injuries and transfers. The only one left was Aaron Swanson who did quite alright for himself. He was the only male Calgary runner at nationals. The women were in better shape. They fielded a team full of rookies, led by second-year Kristen Brennand. They managed to earn 10th place, and they were third among Canada West teams.
The team didn’t hang their heads in despair when the strong men’s program fell apart. There were no fourth and fifth-years to lead the way but Brennand and Swanson pushed the young team to success. The women’s team was a very pleasant surprise, and you got the feeling they were building their confidence as the year went on. For a mostly first-year team, getting 10th at nationals is a feat.
A really nice thing about the cross-country women is that they peaked at the right moment. Head Coach Doug Lamont obviously prepared them for the big show. They finished ahead of Alberta at nationals, a team that beat them all season. For the men it was a year to pick up the pieces; Aaron Swanson was solid until his run at nationals.
The men’s team wasn’t expected to do much with last year’s departures and they didn’t. Swanson was the bright spot and the team has a solid base for the future. The women were a great surprise, and the future looks bright for the ladies. However, this year was not the Dinos’ year as far as great performances go. They were good for a young team, but not quite there with the national elite.
Food this team makes me think of: Tofu. All those runners have to be health nuts.