By Jon Roe
It’s been a luminescent season so far for Geoff Kerr. The Dinos cross country runner kept up his winning streak Sat., Nov. 11, by grabbing the individual gold at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport cross country championships. The gold is his fourth of the year, in only four events.
“Everything’s sort of come together this season,” said Kerr. “The races have all gone really well, thankfully. [The CIS championship] is definitely a fantastic experience. I’ve been pumped pretty much ever since.”
Kerr finished nearly 10 seconds faster than the nearest competitor.
The 10 km race was held across the country on the historic Plains of Abraham, on a windy day in Laval, Quebec.
“It was a semi-windy day,” said Kerr. “The guy leading is working a lot harder than the guys following. That was sort of my strategy: to sit kind of behind and let someone else do the work for as long as possible.”
Though rain on the course for the week leading up to the championships made it muddy, Kerr said it didn’t really affect the race.
“The course was in parts quite muddy,” said Kerr. “Some parts had really nice footing, then up the one major hill, it turned into a pretty slippery muddy hill. I can’t say that [the conditions] seemed to affect the race very much. It was still solid enough that you weren’t knee deep in mud or anything.”
The Dinos men’s team finished 11th overall and third out of the Canada West schools. Kerr’s first place finish gave him the individual gold in Canada West and the cross country athlete of the year award.
On the women’s side, a fifth place overall finish secured them Canada West gold.
The ladies were led by Heather Sim, who took the Canada West individual gold and finished the five kilometre race in a time of 18:09.5.
This is the third time in four years that the Dinos have won the Canada West banner.
Kerr, an academic all-Canadian, was named CIS athlete of the week for his efforts and is the first Calgary athlete to win the CIS title since Jeremy Deere in 1998.
“Obviously the women’s side ran really well, with the CanWest championship,” said Kerr. “I think [the guys] raced about as well as we could’ve expected going in.”
“We had some good performances from some of the guys and some excellent performances by our two rookies,” Kerr continued. “[The CIS championships] is always a tough place to be a first-year, and to get thrown in against 130 guys [is tough as well.] They came up pretty big.”