One of the most historically successful college cross country teams in Canada is returning to the CCAA national championships this weekend.
One of the most historically successful college cross country teams in Canada is returning to the CCAA national championships this weekend. The Lethbridge College Kodiaks are sending a full team of 12 runners to Saturday’s races in Blainville, Que.
The Kodiaks women’s team is coming off a bronze medal finish at the ACAC championships in Red Deer on Oct. 28. ACAC rookie of the year Sophia Nowicki (first year, General Studies) won a conference bronze medal, while teammate Emily Spencer (second year, Nursing) finished sixth. The Kodiaks are ranked seventh in Canada in the most recent CCAA rankings, and hope to improve on that placing in the race hosted by Collège Lionel-Groulx.
“Our goal is for each team to improve at least one spot from their current national rankings,” says Bertil Johansson, Kodiaks cross country head coach. “A top-six finish for our women’s team would be very good, as we are rebuilding this year and there are nearly 20 teams running in this very competitive championship. We are hoping for a top-eight finish for Sophia and a top-15 placing for Emily, which would be tremendous accomplishments for them.”
The Kodiaks men’s team finished tied for third at the ACAC championships, but lost out on a bronze medal due to a tiebreaker. The result was still enough to earn them a berth in the national championship, where they hope to surprise and surpass their national ranking of 12th. Evans Korir (first year, Culinary Arts) was the top individual finisher at the ACAC championships, placing 11th, while Spencer Jackson (first year, Massage Therapy) and Durell Rots (first year, General Studies) finished 15th and 16th respectively.
“Our men’s team is made up of all rookies, as this is a transition year for the program,” says Johansson. “But each of them is equally capable of surprising when they’re on the course and could earn spots in the top 20 or 30 out of more than 120 runners in the competition.”
The women’s race takes place at 9:30 a.m. MST, with the men’s race following at 10:30 a.m. MST at the Blainville Equestrian Park in Blainville, Que. Results will be made available on the CCAA website http://www.ccaa.ca/sports/xc/championship/results/index