SAIT women and men take top spot at Grand Prix #4 in Red Deer

It was a great day of competition at Grand Prix #4 in Red Deer. Photo - Tony Hansen
It was a great day of competition at Grand Prix #4 in Red Deer. Photo - Tony Hansen

The Running Room Grand Prix #4 wrapped up at Red Deer College on Saturday and the SAIT Cross-Country Running team was the top performer. On an overcast day with the temperature hovering around 16 degrees, the SAIT women and men both earned 1st place as a team.

Jordanna Cota, from RDC, finished the 6 kilometre race in 1st among Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) women with a time of 24:32.14. Sophia Nowicki, of Lethbridge College, placed 2nd crossing the finish line in 24:49.52. Nearly 20 seconds later was SAIT's Ricki Christopher (25:09.42) in 3rd spot.

Red Deer College Cross-Country Running Head Coach Kari Elliott was impressed with Cota's performance. "It was actually one of Jordanna's best races," said Elliott. "She should be proud and I'm very proud of her."

SAIT women earned 1st place as a team with 32 points, while RDC placed 2nd (36 points) and Lethbridge College rounded out the top 3 (47 points).

SAIT's Matt Travaglini placed 1st over 8 kilometres among ACAC male runners with a time of 26:46.28. Jacques Saayman, from SAIT, finished in 2nd spot (27:22.18) and teammate Daryl Ross completed an all SAIT top 3 (28:43.27).

The SAIT Trojans men earned 1st place as a group with 12 points. The University of Alberta (Augustana) Vikings earned 2nd spot with 34 points and the Lethbridge College Kodiaks finished in 3rd (54 points).

Ryan Edgar, co-head coach along with Bre MacEachern for the SAIT Trojans Cross-Country Running team, really liked the Red Deer course.

"It is a great course here. This is probably one of my favourites out of all the ACAC cross-country courses," said Edgar. "The rolling hills, the technical turns, tight trails and trees - it's an awesome course."

With the Trojans women and men taking top spot, Edgar is more than comfortable to be back at RDC for the ACAC Cross-Country Running Championships near the end of October. "To race on this course and know that we'll be back on it is exciting," said Edgar. "We know what things to focus in our practices. The only other wild card for the championships is the weather."

While the SAIT Trojans men had a fantastic day, Edgar was very happy with the results from the women runners. "While not totally surprising, we did expect Red Deer to win and us to be close. We were very happy with our results," said Edgar. "The women had an awesome race. Emilie (Mann) had an amazing race which was a big difference. We know it is going to be close the rest of the season."

The University of Alberta (Augustana) will host the Running Room Grand Prix #5 on Saturday, October 14. The ACAC Cross-Country Running Championships will be held on the same RDC course on October 28.