Edmonton, AB – The 2017 ACAC Cross Country Running season kicked off on Saturday September 9, 2017, with the first Grand Prix series race, sponsored by the Running Room, hosted by the Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE) Thunder.
Along with the overcast and smoky conditions, the Tiger Goldstick Park course proved to be a worthy challenge to the nearly 70 ACAC student-athletes competing in the first race of the season. The course featured a repeating 2km loop of rolling hills and a mixture of hard packed gravel, grass and dirt trails. The women competed at a distance of 6km, while the men ran an 8km course.
On the women's side, it was Red Deer College's (RDC) Jordanna Cota that took the top of the podium with a time of 25:20, finishing nearly a full minute ahead of runner up Rebecca Johnson of St. Mary's University (STMU) who finished with a time of 26:19. RDC runner Jill Stewart rounded out the medal winners with a time of 26:34 to finish in third place.
In the team event, the RDC Queens showed their dominance by placing four runners in the top 10 and easily cruising to the win in the team scoring event. The CUE Thunder would place two runners in the top 10 to finish in second place, while the University of Alberta, Augustana (UAA) Vikings would finish third in the team event.
In the men's race, SAIT Trojans runner Jacques Saayman took the top of the podium easily with a time of 28:42 over the 8km distance. Grande Prairie Regional College's (GPRC) Brandon Wladyko finished second with a time of 30:04 in a close sprint to the finish line, just edging out Trojans runner Daryl Ross who came in third with a time of 30:13.
The Trojans were clinical in earning top honours in the team event with four athletes placing in the top 10. The RDC King's finished a respectable second place with three athletes in the top 10, with the UAA Vikings taking the bronze medal.