Old Faces and New Laces at ACAC XC
by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips
09/21/2012...Olds, Albertra - Heading into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Non-Conference Grand Prix #3 to be hosted tomorrow, September 22, 2012, by Olds College, it is time to retrace back the footsteps to look at Grand Prix #1 and Grand Prix #2 held respectively in Grande Prairie and Red Deer.
A total of 142 runners tested their endurance at the Wapiti Nordic Ski Centre September 8th, 2012 as the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves hosted the Grand Prix #1 which is part of the annual Steve Burgess Memorial XC Race.
The ACAC had 19 men in the field of 41 for the 7.5 kilometre run which was won by Edmonton’s Running Room Athletics Club (RRAC) member Eric Wiebe in a time of 27:10.
Grant MacEwan Griffins’ Andrew Peters, with a clocking of 27:29, finished second overall and first amongst ACAC runners.
In second place ACAC and third overall was Wolves’ Hayden Hollowell at 27:58. This was Hollowell’s debut on the college circuit. Kevin Chambers of Concordia University College of Alberta Thunder placed 3rd (ACAC) and 5th overall at 28:52.
Griffins won the men’s team competition 12 points ahead of the RRAC. Thunder placed third and the host Wolves fourth.
ACAC women’s runners got to see what a former big time NCAA cross country runner looks like up close as Tara Struyk (University of Oregon and West Virginia University) representing the RRAC clocked an impressive 15:51 in the women’s four kilometre race.
Struyk’s run was second best women’s showing for the course as former Wolves’ Fiona Benson recorded a 15:35 in 2010.
Struyk was followed by Griffins Alexandra Gordichuk, 16:06, 2nd overall, first ACAC; Thunder’s Marriya Jenkins, 16:35, 3rd overall, 2nd ACAC and Kristen Hansen of NAIT Ooks, 17:00, 4th overall and 3rd ACAC.
From Grande Prairie we head south to Red Deer for Grand Prix 2 – Hunting Hills Lightning Cross Country Meet - held September 15, 2012 at River Bend Golf Course and Recreation Area.
Once again a RRAC member won the men’s event which had 75 entries and 47 ACAC competitors in the 8 k field as Hosea Kibet Rutto crossed the line at 25:01. Former ACAC runner and champion Willy Kimosop (Lethbridge Kodiaks photo left courtsey www.runningmagazine.ca) was second at 25:36.
Solomon Ngetich, Lethbridge Kodiaks, 26:46; Devon Woodland, Red Deer College Kings, 26:59 and Kieran McDonalds, RD Kings, 27:04 came in 3rd to 5th overall and first to third ACAC respectively.
“I knew both Devin and Kieran would be strong college runners and I’m delighted to see how good they are,” said RDC head coach Brian Stackhouse in an interview with the Red Deer Advocate
“RDC had a relatively weak men’s team last year and it’s exciting to see Devin and Kieran leading our team this year to an excellent start.”
Grfiins' Alexandra Gordichuk, 19:48; Marriya Jenkins of the Thunder, 19:51 and Griffins' Vanessa Trofimenkoff, 19:53 placed first to third ACAC and 5th to 6th overall in the women’s 5 k in a field of 71 with 55 ACAC runners.
Jessica O'Connell won the race at 18:09 and former Red Deer Queens Jodi Sanguin (right) was second at 18:43.
Sanquin and Kimosop also won CCAA national titles while ACAC members.