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Thunder XCR Gets Season Rolling at Grand Prix #1

Posted on: Sep 12, 2016

The Concordia Thunder Cross Country Running team got their season rolling this past weekend, hosting the first race of the 2016 season at Tiger Goldstick Park.  The ladies team started the day with the top 5 Concordia women finishing all together from places 9-13 out of the CCAA competitors and within 26 seconds of each other.  Elise Nawrocki led the way, followed closely by Baylee Frissell and Co-Captain Rachael Smillie.  “Our top 5 ladies really packed in well. I’m excited to watch them improve as the season goes on,” stated Head Coach Matt Norminton.  Next across the line was rookie Lannie Houle and 2nd year runner Bailey Troccoli-Hughes.  Co-Captain Shelby Edgar and rookie Haley Dunwoodie crossed the line in 19th and 20th place, respectively while rookie Mienna Starosielski finished in 24th place out of the CCAA competitors.  The ladies finished in 3rd place out of the CCAA teams, behind UBC Okanagan and Red Deer College. “To have 8 competitive women out there today was really great to see,” said Norminton.  “We’ll be ready to give RDC a run for their money at the ACAC Championships at the end of October.”  Thunder alumni Marriya Jenkins finished in 5th place overall while Kristen Hansen (Thunder Assistant Coach) ended up in 33rd place overall and Vanessa Chambers finished in 48th spot.
The men were up next and with the entire 2015 XC team having all departed, Coach Matt Norminton knew that this would be a great learning experience for his Thunder men.  Co-Captains Mike Quick and Ian Lee (both ran Indoor Track last year but not Cross Country) led the way for the men, finishing in 9th and 14th place, respectively.  After the 2 captains, it was all rookies across the line for the Thunder with hockey player Connor Reinson finishing just ahead of Keith Spruyt in 15th and 16th places.  Darien Khan, Nils Jansen and Jackson Murrell were the next Thunder men across the line in 31st, 32nd and 34th, respectively.  Concordia students Mo Adbullahi, Ojeme Ogharo and Benjamin Garnett Lopez also competed in the race finishing 48th, 63rd and 64th overall.  “With the exception of Mike, I don’t think any of these guys have ever raced an 8km so we did exceptionally well today!” enthused Norminton.  “I think more than half of them have never even done an actual running race before so I’m really proud of these guys.  They are only going to get better from here. I strongly believe that they can be competitive at the ACAC Champs this year”.  The Thunder men finished in 4th place overall behind SAIT, UBC Okanagan and one point behind Red Deer.
Thunder Alumni Kirk Sundt picked up the overall win at the race while Kenton Sportak finished in 27th place overall.
Next up for the Thunder XC teams will be a trip down Highway 2 on Saturday to take part in the Jordan Fish Open XC race, hosted by SAIT.