Concordia Thunder XC Running Host Successful Grand PrixPosted on: Oct 7, 2013
The Thunder XC Running team hosted ACAC Running Room Grand Prix #3 this past Saturday down in Goldbar Park, which will also be the site of the 2013 ACAC Cross Country Running Championships on Oct 26th. The tough hilly course was run in beautiful conditions with good footing and temperatures above 10C.
The Ladies 5k was up first and over 100 women toed the start line including CCAA top ranked UBC Okanagan Heat, #2 ranked SAIT Trojans from Calgary and last year’s defending CCAA champions MacEwan University. Marriya Jenkins was our top lady, finishing in 4th overall and 2nd ACAC runner, being narrowly eclipsed by MacEwan’s Vanessa Trofimenkoff who had her best race of the season. Next across the line for the Thunder was rookie Stephanie Mahar who ran a new personal best and crossed the line as the 22nd ACAC runner. “Steph ran really good today,” said Thunder Coach Matt Norminton. “She dropped nearly a minute off her Calgary time and I wouldn’t be surprised if she drops another minute in the next 3 weeks. She has a shot at the top 10 if all goes well.” Rookie Shelby Edgar was the 3rd Thunder runner across the line, just missing the top 30 ACAC runners with a new personal best time as well. “Shelby can be top 30 for sure at the ACAC Champs and if Bev Kaine can get healthy, the girls can finish top 5 at the ACAC championships,” said Norminton. The Thunder women finished 5th last year at the 2012 ACAC XC Championships. UBCO picked up the win by placing 6 women in the top 20 CCAA competitors.
In the men’s 8k there were 93 finishers with a solid group of open runners to pull the ACAC men along to some fast times despite the tough rolling course. Top Thunder man was 2nd year runner Kevin Chambers who ran his fastest time of the season to finish as the 15th ACAC runner across the line. Team captain Joel Perren was the 21st CUCA runner across the line but knows he has more in the tank. “Kevin is only 45 seconds out of the top 10 and a minute from punching his ticket to the CCAA champs if he can sneak into the top 7. It won’t be easy but it’s doable; he is getting faster with each race and his confidence is growing. Joel is only a minute back on an off day, he can finish in the top 15 at the ACAC Champs if he runs well,” summarized Norminton. Ben Thomas ran a big personal best to cross the line 29th out of the ACAC runners, his best finish to date. Cody Krantz was the next Thunder man across the line as the 42nd ACAC man (also a personal best), followed closely by 2nd year runner Chris Gaertner in 45th.
“Overall it was a great day, the guys and girls both ran really well,” said Norminton. “The men finished in 6th but a top 5 finish is very realistic at the ACAC Champs and top 3 is not completely unrealistic if everything goes our way.” The men finished 6th at the 2010 ACAC XC Champs and were 7th in both 2011 and 2012. Next up for the Thunder men and women XC teams will be the Augustana Open in Camrose next Saturday.