The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s cross country team finished tops at Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC) Grand Prix #3 Race this past Saturday. The Heat team proved its No. 1 ranking early in the week was no fluke as their showed remarkable depth in their win in Edmonton at the 5 km. Race hosted by Concordia University College of Alberta.
With a score of 41 points, the UBC Okanagan women bested all Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) teams at the meet, SAIT from Calgary trailed the Heat with 44 points, third went to Lethbridge College at 58.
Continuing her role as front-runner, Sandra Kilmartin was the 6th collegiate runner in 20:16. Not far behind were Michelle Blackburne in 9th (20:33), Alea Stockton in 11th (21:02) and Anna Merino in 15th (21:31). Displacers were Julianna Neudorf in 17th (21:39) and Trisha Metro in 19th (21:43).
This was the first time Heat cross country runner have faced off against Alberta during the ACAC regular season and, for UBC Okanagan, the race did provided a solid preview of the strong competition they will encounter at the CCAA national championships.
Traditionally the ACAC teams have been very strong at the CCAA championships, which this year will be hosted by Humber College in Toronto on November 9th.
The course in Edmonton, although very hilly compared to the terrain the Heat had grown accustomed too, did not seem to alter the team’s strategy as they ran a very tight race; with the six Heat runners travelling the first kilometer with only a five second spread from the first to sixth Heat runner.
“Our depth is what makes us so strong” explains Coach Nikki Reiter, out of 81 collegiate runners; all six Heat runners came in within a spread of 13 places.