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Cross-country team competes at nationals

November 14, 2015 6:14 P.M.
Tony Kiprop at 2015 CIS Nationals in Guelph, Ont. (CIS photo)

Guelph, Ont.—A small but dedicated group of runners representing TRU competed in the CIS cross country championships in Guelph, Ontario.

Head coach Carmin Mazzotta brought three men and two women from his WolfPack team to the nationals.

“The race was run in a place where running is extremely popular,” he said. “The entire course was lined with fans and spectators. It was an incredible atmosphere and one that our athletes will gain a lot from.”

On the women’s side:  Rachel Lobay (Kelowna) finished 63rd. Alesha Miller (Vernon) didn’t finish. The women ran a six-km race which 144 women competed.

“Rachel ran an incredible and gutsy race,’ Mazzotta explained. “She had such a great season and exceeded expectations. I was hoping Top 75, so 63rd is great. She is a rookie and will grow and improve a lot in the coming years.”

“It was an exceptional run from someone in their first year of eligibility,” he added.

As far Miller was concerned: “Alesha has been struggling with an injury for some time and things just didn’t totally line up today.”

On the men’s side: TRU’s Tony Kirprup (Eldoret, Kenya) finished 133rd. Brennan Smith (Victoria) was 137 th and Conlen Sprickeroff (Williams Lake) wound up 141st. A total of 150 men took part in the 10-km distance.

“Tony ran strong, “Mazzotta stated. “For Brennan, it was a learning experience as he went out way too hard and paid the price a bit. Conlan wasn’t able to quite put all the pieces together today—he has been a bit ahead of Tony all season in workouts and races. It just wasn’t reflected in his performance today. He’s developed a lot this season and has had the most consistent season overall of any of our athletes on either the men’s or the women’s sides. He just happened to have an off day at the wrong time. I know he’ll come back stronger in 2016.”

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