Running over hills, rocks, trees, bodies of unconscious opponents, and anything else in their way, the University of Calgary Dinos cross-country team returned from a meet last Saturday in Missoula, Montana.
"We were competing against NCAA schools," said cross-country coach Doug Lamont. "The men ran an 8 km distance, the women ran a 6 km distance."
Only the men had a full team attending the meet With many first-year runners on the women's side, there wasn't a full roster.
"The men were fifth, which was quite good," remarked Lamont. "We didn't really have a women's team, we only had four girls going."
Notably, fourth-year Dino Lanny Mann came in sixth and rookie Andrew Alley had a fabulous finish in 10th. First-year runner Kristen Brennand came in 20th in the women's run. For the men's competition, Idaho State University came in first, the University of Montana second, Utah State was third, and Montana State University finished fourth.
This doesn't really tell us how the team will fare against the rest of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union, however.
"I think our men's team is extremely strong this year," commented Lamont. "Probably top two in Canada West, and probably in the top four in CIAUS."
As for the women?
"We have a lot of first-year girls on the team so they probably won't be competing in the CIAU championships this year. Its a building phase this year."
This year, the season is very short. The team didn't start training until September, and the snow fast approaches.
"We have a certain number of meets, and the standings come out each week," said Lamont. "Out here in the west, it's not that easy to necessarily get a lot of competitions, so when we do compete; we have to compete quite well."
The next meet is going to be in Victoria on Oct. 16.
"Most of the Canada West teams will be there," said Lamont.
After that, the provincial championships will be held here in Calgary on Oct. 23.
"We're hoping the University of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge will be there," said Lamont.
Based on the results of those meets, the coaching staff will decide whether or not to send a team to the CIAU championships in Kingston, Ont. on Nov. 13.