Cross-country girls capture western title and third at nationals

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According to a famous tortoise and hare, slow and steady wins the race. Cross-country teams have borrowed this approach, running consistently over long distances, to win their own races.

The Dinos cross-country team put this strategy into practice at Saturday's Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport cross-country championships with the women's team capturing the CW title and a CIS bronze.

The men's team finished second in the CW team competition. The CW and CIS cross-country championships were held in conjunction on Nov. 13 in Sherbrooke.

"The girls did ultimately what we expected them to do," said women's and men's head coach Doug Lamont. "Maddy MacDonald and Faye Stenning stepped up big to contribute to that success. For us to get a bronze medal at nationals, that's pretty well the best that we possibly expected. The top two in the women's race were pretty well decided. With the west title, it was great that we won that because it's always great to beat Victoria."

The Dinos women toppled the University of Victoria Vikes by six points to take the CW women's title. It is the Dinos' sixth CW cross-country title in the last eight years. Madeline MacDonald led the team, coming in second in the CW and sixth in CIS in the women's five kilometre race with Faye Stenning close behind her, placing fourth in CW and 12th in CIS. The women were third in CIS overall standings.

"Maddy's had a great season. She's had a rather long series of consistent training and obviously the consistent training pays off in terms of being able to have consistent performances," said Lamont. "She continued to progress through the successful cross-country season where each race just seemed to build on it until the point where she put it out there and achieve something kind of special for CI."

The men placed second in CW, eight points behind first place University of Victoria, and sixth in the CIS. Scott Nicol led the Dinos men with a fifth CW and 16th CIS finish.

"[Scott Nicol] ran probably the best race that he could on the day given all the conditions and everything," said Lamont. "I don't think he could've done anymore on that day."

Lamont was named CW women's coach of the year.