On an icy course in below-freezing temperatures, Lethbridge College’s Sophia Nowicki overcame white-out conditions to capture the 2018 CCAA Cross Country Running National Championship.
The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference’s (ACAC) Champion completed the six-kilometer course in 23:32 to capture the Gold medal.
Finishing four seconds back (23:36) was Simone Plourde of Andre-Grasset who was unable close the gap down the home stretch despite her best efforts over the final 150 meters.
Anne-Frédérik Drolet of Jonquiere was the third runner to cross the finish line and the only other competitor to crack the sub-twenty-four minute time (23:44).
The two RSEQ runners found themselves chasing Nowicki for the majority of the race as the three distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. With Nowicki clinging to a narrow edge at the halfway point, she saw her lead disappear. Nowicki regained her lead for the final time around the five kilometer mark as the runners completed a substantial incline, nicknamed Sting Hill.
After nearly a week of course preparation, the unexpected November hit Seneca’s King Campus, blanketing the previously wet and leaf-covered course with a white dusting of snow. The wet snow froze overnight, leading to last minute chaos by the hosts to make a safe course for the Nation’s top runners to compete on.
In the team completion, the Fanshawe Falcons captured the National Championship after placing two runners in the top five in team points. The Falcons were led by Janelle Hanna (24:06) and Sammi-Jo Burch (24:22). Rachyl MacPhail (25:24), Laura Travaglini (25:54) and Hannah Carley (26:25) rounded out the Falcons’ results.
The Lethbridge Kodiaks captured the Silver medal and were led by Nowicki. Emily Spencer (25:15), Salma Moreira (26:16), Janelle Graham (26:26), Rebecca Sweeney (27:28) and Brooklyn Vogel (28:22) joined Nowicki on the podium.
Capturing the Bronze medal were the Red Deer Queens. Jillian Stewart (24:30) paced the Queens and was joined in the top-twenty in team points by Shayla Sklaruk (25:43) and Shaelyn Moltzahn (25:49). Caitlin Debree (26:46), Deshann Velentine (27:38) and Teagan Shapka (29:29) rounded out the Queens’ results.