Lightning Cross-Country teams continue to improve

Zues and the Lightning Runners

On Saturday, September 16, the St. Mary’s University Lightning Cross-Country teams stepped onto the course again to compete in the second Grand Prix of the ACAC season – The Jordan Fish Cross Country Open cohosted by SAIT and St. Mary’s. The event, held at Confederation Park, was quite challenging for the runners involved once again incorporating multiple hill components in the 2km looped track. Fortunately the weather held up beautifully and was a perfect day for the meet.

The Lightning kick started the day with their 6km race in a field consisting of 44 ACAC runners from Concordia, Red Deer College, Lethbridge College, SAIT, St. Mary’s and the University of Augustana.

Starting Line

St. Mary’s had seven athletes competing in this race and once again, first-year standout Rebecca Johnson was the top runner, finishing in fifth place for the race and posting an impressive time of 26:44 just 25 seconds off her personal best time posted this season. The Lightning women showed great improvement this week with some of the athletes scoring their personal best times on such a challenging course. Erin McQuitty, who placed 26th posted a time of 32:16 shaving 1:20 off her time posted last week.

The men’s team were off next to compete in their 8km race, the late addition of Isaac Amsing (23rd place, 37:04 finish time) to the team on the Thursday before the meet allowed the injury ridden men’s team to have 4 runners and score as a team this week. All four runners posted personal bests times. Donovan Miller was the best performing male athlete posting a time of 34:31 and finishing in 18th place.

“All are training very consistently and will continue to get their fitness and strength allowing them to move up in the rankings,” said Lightning Cross-Country Head Coach Donna Dixon after the races.

Lightning Sports Manager Nathan Ruff believed it was a strong showing for the Lightning on such a difficult course.

“It was great seeing our athletes out their competing on such a challenging course, when you factored in the repeating loop course the women had around nine hills to contend with while the men had 12,” said Ruff. “I thought all the athletes did a spectacular job.”

With a well-deserved weekend off coming up, the Lightning runners will turn their attention towards the Grand Prix #4 in Red Deer on September 30.

“I figure that weekend will showcase all of the ACAC runners as they will want to get a chance to run the provincial championship race,” said Ruff.

We look forward to seeing the Lightning runners put their best foot forward!