The serenity of the Guelph Lakes Golf Course in Guelph, Ontario was disturbed by the thunder of 216 furiously pounding feet Sat., Nov. 13. The occasion was the 2004 CIS Cross-country Championships. The defending national champion Dinos ladies were looking to repeat while our gentlemen hoped to improve their eighth place finish in 2003.
Unfortunately, success was not in the cards for our Dinos. Had they called Miss Cleo prior to the meet, she would have told them, "Yuh not gone do it dis year."
And considering she is the best psychic since the dawn of time, she would have been right. Our ladies ran their hearts out, but ended up in third place. Their 79 point total put them just five points behind the University of Guelph and only 20 short of the new national champion, Dalhousie University. Being the best Canada West team at the meet, our women were named the CW conference champions.
Shannon Slater-Popowich, who placed third, led the Dinos on the five-kilometre course with a time of 17:32.9. Her team mate Renee Kaylor managed to stay close behind finishing in 17:55.2 for sixth place. Also breaking into the top 25 were Sabrina Harper and Jackie Jones, who managed 15th and 24th respectively.
The Dinos men tripled the ladies' finish, placing ninth in a tough field. They managed 198 points--well behind the University of Windsor's winning total of 32. This placed our men third amongst the Canada West teams. While Windsor swept the podium, the Dinos' best finisher was Geoff Kerr, who placed 13th. Andrew Carruthers doubled that, crossing the 10-kilometre mark in 26th place.
Alas, the season is over for the men and women of the Dinos cross-country squad. Better luck next year.
In front of the peloton:
For their incredible achievements this year, Slater-Popowich and Kaylor were honoured as CIS women's First Team All-Stars. On the gentlemen's side, Kerr was named to the CIS men's Second Team. Dinos Coach Doug Lamont was also recognized, being dubbed Canada West Women's Cross-country Coach of the Year.
Slater-Popowich not only made the All-Star team, but was designated Canada West Female Cross-country Athlete of the Season. Along with her bronze at nationals, she raced to two gold medallions and a silver during the regular season. Congrats for being as swift as the wind.