At the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross-Country Running National Championships on Saturday, the Red Deer College Cross-Country Running teams put in a gutsy effort in a very competitive field of 20 women's teams (130 runners) and 21 men's teams (134 runners) in Blainville, Quebec.
As a team, the RDC Queens placed 4th nationally and were close to earning a medal. The host, Collège Lionel-Groulx, took the women's team gold medal (45 points), SAIT finished in the silver medal position (47 points) and UBC-Okanagan captured bronze (68 points). The Queens were only 6 points behind and finished with 74 team points.
Jordanna Cota was the top runner for the RDC Queens and individually placed 4th (22:10.5) with a fantastic performance on the 6 kilometre course. Jill Stewart (23:17.5) put forth a great effort and finished in 18th spot. Shaelyn Moltzahn (24:00.7) was the 3rd fastest member of the Queens and Sadie Borgfjord (24:01.8) crossed the finish line just over 1 second later. Veronika Fagan, from UBC-Okanagan, earned CCAA gold (21:42.2).
"Jordanna and Jill had great races and they each ran personal bests," said Kari Elliott, head coach of the RDC Cross-Country Running team. "Jill was knocked down in the early stages but persevered and finished the 6 kilometre race strongly."
The Red Deer College Kings finished in 18th spot with 264 team points. Sherbrooke won the men's gold medal (39 points), Fanshawe picked up CCAA silver (47 points) and SAIT captured bronze (48 points).
Adam Wass (27:22.0) was the top Kings performer and placed 33rd. Devon Gurney (28:07.3) finished the 8 kilometre race in 62nd. Lucas Wessner (29:31.0) and Cory DeRaadt (29:36.4) rounded out the top 4 Kings. Matt Travaglini, of the SAIT Trojans, won gold with a time of 24:18.1.
"Adam had a breakthrough race and all of our top four men finished under 30 minutes which was great," said Elliott. "Stephen Rowley hadn't been feeling well and Cory dealt with an injury so they showed a lot of persistence."
"While there's some disappointment that our teams didn't place as high as we would have liked, there are many successes to be celebrated. I am very proud of the RDC student-athletes and they showed a lot of heart with several personal bests today," said Elliott. "They gave it their all and it has been a great learning experience in Quebec. The calibre was incredible – it was such a deep field, and really fast."
With the top 7 finish, Jordanna Cota qualifies as an All-Canadian and the awards will be presented on Saturday evening at the CCAA Awards Banquet and Closing Ceremonies.
A list of team and individual results can be viewed here.