The cross-country team’s ACAA season came to an end this weekend, with exciting results for both the men’s and women’s teams.
With the season now over, fourth-year co-captain Connor Lane attributed the team’s dedication to the success they experienced this year. Everyone aims to improve with each race, and there is no way to do this without sticking it out and getting through each practice.
The results of the men’s team this year speak to the importance of dedication. On Sept. 16, the team was relegated to second place. By the championship on Oct. 23, the cross-country Mounties had the foundation and training to win the championship – highlighted by several successful racers’ finish at the top of the pack with some blisteringly fast times.
The championship meet was hosted this year by Holland College in Brookvale, P.E.I. The Mounties competed against teams from five different Maritime universities and colleges. The men’s team came in first place in their eight-kilometre race and the women’s team finished in second place in their five-kilometre race, coming up just short of victory against a strong Dalhousie Agricultural College team.
“It didn’t help that some of our top female runners were ineligible to run due to league rule changes,” said coach Steve Scott. In order to be eligible to compete in the championships, runners had to participate in two out of three races.
The entire men’s team had a strong championship meet, with exceptional performances from Lane and Andrew Linton. “Everyone worked hard all season and put together a fantastic championship race in typical Mount Allison fashion,“ said Scott.
Races were hosted by Holland College, Université Sainte-Anne and Dalhousie Agricultural Campus. “My favourite course was in P.E.I.,” said fourth-year runner Anna Mairs, who participated in all three pre-championship races. “I love it because it is humbling and keeps you guessing if you’re on the right course or just running through some woods,” Mairs said.
Being on the cross-country team allows students who love exercising and being outside to meet like-minded people. “Running gives me energy when I’m tired, calms me down when I’m stressed, and never fails to remind me of how beautiful the world is and how lucky I am to be a part of it,” top Mt. A women’s finalist Beth Torrance said.
The team strives to maintain a welcoming attitude that encourages success but minimizes stress. “This season was a really awesome experience, one that I haven’t really gotten from sports I’ve participated in before,” said second-year runner Carly Penrose, who joined the team this year.
The team emphasizes that participation is valued over physical results. “[Our] team is full of such great people [who] create an atmosphere which makes races not causes of nerves and worry, but challenge, excitement and genuine fun,” Penrose said.
The end of the season always brings some disappointment, as it marks the end of official training sessions. “I am already looking forward to next year!” said second-year runner Shae Scully. The cross-country team plans to continue to run together for fun for the rest of the school year. Anyone who is interested in joining the team can email team co-captain Maddy Burnett at [email protected].