The biggest race of the season
Corey Kirkhus - October 24, 2012
This Saturday Dalhousie will host athletes from universities across the Maritimes for the 2012 Subway AUS Cross Country Championship at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. Competitors from Acadia, l'Université de Moncton, Memorial, Saint Mary’s, St. Thomas University, St. Francis Xavier and University of New Brunswick will try to beat the Tigers in their own backyard, which may prove more difficult than they would hope. Each year Dal is a force to be reckoned with on the trails and this season is no exception.
As the defending AUS champions, the women’s cross country team will look to stride past the competition and qualify for the CIS championship for the second year in a row. Leading the squad is Holly Van Gestel, who won the AUS individual title last year and went on to place 19th at the CIS championship in Montreal. Runners to watch alongside her will be veteran Tigers Ashley Chisholm, Anna von Maltzahn, Emily Clarke, and Ellen Chappell. With the perfect combination of depth and talent, the women’s team will be running to claim the 20th AUS banner for Dalhousie.
On the men’s side the black and gold will need to pass the 2011 defending
champions StFX to earn Dalhousie’s 19th championship. Having been neck-in-neck with the X-Men all season, Saturday’s race is sure to be hard-fought as the Tigers go in with the home field advantage. Dal second-year runner Matt McNeil will aim to cut through the pack and push to the front after a third-place finish at the AUS Championship in his rookie season. Also leading the way for the men will be Bruce Russell, Jake Moore and Adam McGregor.
The Tigers are set to run their best race of the season on home turf this weekend and continue Dalhousie’s legacy of ruling the trails on the East Coast. “Both races are sure to be very fast and competitive,” says coach Lehman. “The atmosphere will be great. It's always the most exciting race of the season.”
On Saturday the women’s race will start at 12pm followed by the men’s race at 12:45pm. While the route will take runners all over Point Pleasant Park the best place to catch the action will be at the start and finish line located near the Halifax Memorial in the southern end of the park.