Cross Country Running 2018 - 19 season preview

With some key returning student-athletes, and some promising first-years, the RDC Cross Country Running team is thrilled for their first conference competition. Photo - Tony Hansen
With some key returning student-athletes, and some promising first-years, the RDC Cross Country Running team is thrilled for their first conference competition. Photo - Tony Hansen

2017-18 Review

Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Championships at RDC

Queens – gold medal (6 km)

Kings – bronze medal (8 km)

Jordanna Cota – 1st (24:13.03) and earned gold, Jill Stewart – 5th (25:03.82)

Devon Gurney – 13th (30:27.01), Stephen Rowley – 14th (30:27.39)  

Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross Country Running National Championships in Blainville, Quebec

RDC Queens – 4th               

Jordanna Cota - 4th (22:10.05), Jill Stewart – 18th (23:17.5)

RDC Kings – 18th                

Adam Wass – 33rd (27:22.0)

 

2017 - 18 Awards

ACAC Women's All-Conference Team – Jordanna Cota and Jill Stewart

ACAC Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year – Jordanna Cota

CCAA Women's Cross Country Running All-Canadian Team – Jordanna Cota

RDC Athletics Awards Night (Indoor Track included)

Coach's Award – Adam Wass

Most Improved Player – Devon Gurney

Rookie of the Year – Lucas Wessner

Most Valuable Player – Jordanna Cota

 

2018 - 19 Preview

Kari Elliott enters her third year as the RDC Cross Country Running Head Coach and is appreciative of the development of the returning student-athletes and the potential of the first-years. "This season, we have many new faces but they are an exciting group of student-athletes," says Elliott. "As a coach, I am excited to be working with these high calibre athletes and I'm very pleased to see the progress they have made, especially our third-years." 

Assistant Coaches

Steph Flieler, Carter Weber, Michael Schnare

 

Returning Queens

Jill Stewart, Shaelyn Moltzahn, Teagan Shapka

New Queens

Shayla Sklaruk, Mackenzie Spinks, Caitlin Debree, Deshann Valentine

"Jill, Shaelyn, and Teagan are all returning to the Queens and they have all been with our program for three years now, and each one of them has improved significantly over the last few seasons," says Elliott. "Jill is running strong and is coming off a solid summer of training. She has already set a few personal bests in local road races and will be one of our leaders."  

 

Returning Kings

Stephen Rowley, Lucas Wessner

New Kings

Matt Hope, Daniel Szucs, Carson Schiller, Devin Saunders, Jakob Vollmerhaus, Cooper Cheshire

"The Kings team this year is perhaps the strongest it has ever been since I've been coaching at RDC," says Elliott. "Stephen Rowley has been training very hard this summer and is in excellent condition, and as competitive as ever." 

 

"We added some local high school talent - Daniel Szucs, who attended Lacombe High School, has been racing well during the outdoor track season and had a top 10 finish at cross provincials in the fall," says Elliott. "Also, there were a few pleasant surprises as walk-ons - Cooper Cheshire comes from a hockey background but has been developing nicely as a runner this summer. Matt Hope is a fast addition to our crew - he has the ability to lead the conference and looks strong after some huge performances on the track this summer."

 

Not Returning

Jordanna Cota, Breanna Berridge, Janaya Garbe, Sadie Borgfjord, Cory DeRaadt, Devon Gurney, Justin Moltzahn, Adam Wass

Losing Jordanna Cota, who finished her five years of ACAC running eligibility last season, is a key loss but the returning Queens are expected to carry the torch of cross country running excellence at RDC. Jill Stewart will be one of the leaders for the Red Deer College Queens and among the top female runners in the ACAC. Shaelyn Moltzahn and Teagan Shapka will push for personal bests while helping to show the first-year RDC Queens what it takes to compete in the conference.

Despite the loss of several Kings, this year's group of Red Deer College male runners could be the fastest in recent years and several racers have looked outstanding in training, and early non-conference competition.

The RDC Cross Country Running team is finishing preparations for the new season in Banff with a combination of team building, training and friendly competition. "At our annual Banff training camp, the goal is to build team chemistry and resiliency. The days will be packed with runs, strength and team drills," says Elliott. "We will finish the camp with our Sulphur Mountain Challenge - the fastest up the mountain will have their name added to our trophy."  

Elliott inspires and encourages the Red Deer College Cross Country runners to push beyond what they think they are capable of. "Our team motto this year is 'REACH' - to focus on setting goals just beyond our reach so that they are worth shooting for," says Elliott. "So, that means to show a lot of heart, train hard, and come out ready to win."

The Queens and Kings will compete in Running Room Grand Prix #1 on Saturday, September 8 in Edmonton. Concordia University will host the first conference event of the young season.