XCR Teams Both Finish 2nd in Final Tune-up Before ACAC ChampsPosted on: Oct 19, 2015
The Thunder XC Men's and Women's teams had good days at the Augustana Open in Camrose on Saturday with 2nd place finishes for both squads. The ladies were led by another strong 2nd place finish by Captain Marriya Jenkins, who ended up running faster than last year on the same course. "Marriya is rounding into great shape at the right time," said Assistant Coach Tom Fleming. Rachael Smillie, was next across the line for the Thunder in 6th place followed by the rookie duo of Elise Nawrocki (15th) and Bailey Troccoli-Hughes in 16th. "Bailey moved up well the whole race and Elise had another solid run," commented Head Coach Matt Norminton. Second year runner Ana Zulic finished in 24th. "We could have 6 girls in the Top 20 at the ACAC Championships if they all have decent days at the end of the month in Lethbridge. That would be a lot of fun," said Norminton. Baylee Frissell finished in 30th place and Kristina Dong crossed the line in 39th place. The Thunder Women finished behind only Lethbridge on the day, narrowly losing by 6 points to the #1 nationally ranked Kodiaks.
The Thunder Men had a mixed day in terms of results with 2 of their top 4 runners having excellent days while the other 2 had tough days. But such is the talent of this year's Men's team that were still able to finish tied for 1st place with the host Augustana Vikings, only losing based upon the finish of Augustana's 4th runner vs the Thunder's 4th runner. "Kenton Sportak and Kevin Chambers both had tough days out there today but still managed to finish in 16th and 17th place respectively," said Norminton. "I hope our top 4 guys all realize after today that they can all be Top 10 at the ACAC Champs this year." Fifth year runner Kirk Sundt had what is probably the best race of his life, beating all ACAC competitors by well over a minute. "Kirk was a man on a mission today," said Fleming. "He committed to the lead pack early and just went for it; he was a machine out there." Fourth year runner and Co-captain Ben Thomas also had one of his best races ever, finishing in 8th place. "Ben stepped up huge for us today," said Norminton. "We'll need him to do that again in Lethbridge if we are to retain our ACAC title this year,"
Next up for the #2 nationally ranked Women and #8 nationally ranked Men's teams will be the ACAC Championships in Lethbridge at the end of the month.