Kingston, ON - Three Heat individuals would take on the best runners in Canada and would stack up well against the top competition in their first U SPORTS national championship in cross country as all of the athletes battled strong winds in Kingston, Ont., at Fort Henry Hill.
Michael Mitchell would be the top Heat runner in Ontario as he finished in 85th spot out of 158 total runners, in a time of 33:34.4 over the 10-kilometres in the race hosted by Queen's University.
Rookie Turner Woodroff came in at 126th place for UBCO, racing to a time of 35:08.4 while Owen Harris would finish in the 136th spot in the men's individual competition (35:41.8). The three Heat runners would just compete as individuals in the championship, you need at least five scoring racers to qualify in the team competition.
Fourth year applied science student Mike Mitchell's comments:
"Race went well I took a hard fall right at the start so lost quite a few places so not my best day. Very exciting race and was great to get the opportunity to run here. Competition level was what we were expecting, Owen and Turner ran well and held there own within the race for sure despite the high level of competition."
Head coach John Machuga post-race was happy with all his runners performances in their first national championship at the U SPORTS level.
"Mike got off to a great start but had his heals clipped and hit the ground hard bruising his hips and ribs. He got up and worked his way up to 100th place by the one-kilometre mark. From kilometres five to seven he moved up, frantically passing 15 runners. He [Mike Mitchell] then held on to his 85th place all the way to the finish. This was in spite of breathing difficulties from the fall."
"Owen and Turner also started well. They were in around 135th place at one-kilometre. Starting at kilometre three and up to the seventh they lead a group of around eight athletes. Only one runner from TRU helped with some of the work of breaking the wind. Despite this all three of these leading runners still managed to defeat their following runners. Owen paid the price a bit over the final two kilometres and held on for 136th place. Turner finished very strong and moved up to 126th place over the final lap."
The U SPORTS men's champion was Connor Black from the Guelph Gryphons who ran the 10km race in a time of 31:13, which included a tight sprint down the finish as he fended off silver medalist Jean-Simon Desgagnés of the Laval Rouge et Or by a fraction of a second.
The Calgary Dinos finished with a strong team showing across their top five to claim their first U SPORTS national championship.
A balanced attack that included the individual bronze medal going to Russell Pennock saw the Dinos climb to the top of the podium for U SPORTS gold.
Calgary finished with three All-Canadians in the race as Pennock was followed close behind by Eric Lutz in ninth and Stefan Daniel in 10th. Ryan Grieco (21st) and Tyler Kiyonaga (32nd) rounded out the top five for Calgary as they finished with a team score of 75 which was 14 points ahead of second-place Guelph and 19 ahead of third place McMaster. Calgary becomes the first CW team to claim the men's national title since Victoria in 2015.
The host Queen's Gaels were still able to come away with some hardware as Ruben Sansom took home the Rookie of the Year honours, while Lamont was named the Coach of the Year.
Top individual finishes (Top 20) at the
U SPORTS national championships - Heat men
2018 10k: None
CCAA national championships - Heat men
2017 8K: Michael Mitchell (13th, 26:38)
2016 8K: None
2015 8K: None
2014 8K: Cael Warner (13th, 28:22)
2013 8K: None
2012 8K: None
2011 8K: None
CANADA WEST TEAM STANDINGS
- Calgary Dinos, 29
- Victoria Vikes, 80
- UBC Thunderbirds, 81
- Trinity Western Spartans, 88
- Manitoba Bisons, 114
- Alberta Golden Bears, 141
- Regina Cougars, 19
MEN'S FIRST TEAM CONFERENCE ALL-STARS
CW / NAME (U SPORTS PLACE) / SCHOOL / TIME
1 /Russell Pennock (3rd) / Calgary Dinos / 31:16.2
2 / John Gay (4th) / UBC Thunderbirds / 31:17.0
3 / Caleb De Jong (6th) / Trinity Western Spartans / 31:25.3
4 / Nick Colyn (7th) / Trinity Western Spartans / 31:28.3
5 / Eric Lutz (9th) / Calgary Dinos / 31:34.1
6 / Stefan Daniel (10th) / Calgary Dinos / 31:36.7
7 / Ryan Grieco (21st) / Calgary Dinos / 32:01.2
First Team All-Canadians
- Connor Black, Guelph (31:13.0)
- Jean-Simon Desgagnés, Laval (31:13.6)
- Russell Pennock, Calgary (31:16.2)
- John Gay, UBC (31:17.0)
- Isaiah Frelink, Western (31:18.5)
- Caleb De Jong, Trinity Western (31:25.3)
- Nick Colyn, Trinity Western (31:28.3)