The Red Deer College Women's Cross-Country Running team capped off their strong season with an incredible second place team finish in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross-Country Running National Championship. UBC Okanagan took top spot. Many of the RDC runners saved their best performance for last, achieving personal best times.
Jordanna Cota finished 6th overall, out of 115 entrants, with a time of 19:21 on the 5 km course. With the top 10 finish, Cota was named to the 2016 Women's Cross-Country Running All-Canadian team. She improved 12 spots from her 18th place finish last season.
Finishing in 14th place was Jill Stewart, crossing the finish line in 19:41. Placing 29th overall was Janaya Garbe with a time of 20:35. Amy Severtson was 6 seconds behind with a time of 20:41 and placed 31st. Breanna Berridge completed the race in 21:24 (52nd), Samantha Debree finished in 22:07 (74th) and Laura Szymanek ran the course in 22:14 (79th).
Head Coach Kari Elliott was very pleased with the accomplishment.
"I'm so proud of them. Everyone ran their best and as a coach that is all I can ask for," said Elliott. "The student-athletes finished the race with no regrets and gave it their all."
It was a great experience for the RDC runners on a course with variety.
"It was a nice day and very cool atmosphere with fans cheering the runners on," said Elliott. "The course had a quick surface along with some epic hills. There was also about a 150 meter sprint to the finish line."
The runners and coaches will enjoy the results but have an eye on next season already.
"We were hoping for first place but to finish second is thrilling," said Elliott. "Top spot is something that we can aim for next year."
The Red Deer College Cross-Country Running season is now complete. There could be many of the student-athletes returning in 2017 and this young team is full of potential.