For the first time in program history, the Trinity Western Spartans cross-country team placed second at the national championships.
The women’s cross-country team won the Canada West banner and also placed second at the CIS nationals.
Competing in St. John’s, Nfld. at the Pippy Park Golf Course on Saturday (Nov. 8), the Spartans were led by Sarah Inglis, who finished fifth overall — and first among Canada West athletes. She completed the six-km race in 22:58.3 and shattered her 29th-place finish from 2013.
Inglis was also named the Canada West female athlete of the year.
Running in winds that peaked near 110 km per hour, accompanied by rain and sometimes hail-like conditions, the Spartans bettered their fourth place finish from last year’s national championships as the second place finish marks TWU’s best-ever result. It’s also the first time in the cross country program’s history that TWU has won back-to-back conference titles.
Alison Jackson (23:04.6) was seventh while Fiona Benson (23:16.8) was 10th.
Regan Yee (24:03.4) was 17th and Meg Harradine (25:18.4) was 72nd to round out the top five for the Spartans.
The team finished with 105 points, trailing only Guelph, which had 34.
Inglis’ and Jackson’s results earn them CIS first team all-Canadian honours and Canada West first team All-Star honours. Benson earns a CIS second team all-Canadian nod as well as a Canada West first team All-Star honour. Yee’s result earns her a Canada West first team all-star nod.
This is the third year in a row that a Spartans women’s runner has won the Canada West cross country title. Benson captured Canada West gold in 2012 and Jackson won in 2013.
It was an impressive improvement on last year’s results as, this year, four runners were in the top 20. Last year, which was TWU’s previous best result, the Spartans Jackson was the lone TWU runner in the top 20.
On the women’s side, Spartans endurance coach Mark Bomba was named the Canada West Coach of the Year.
On the men’s side, Joel De Schiffart led the way with a ninth-place finish, helping the Spartans finish seventh at nationals and second in the Canada West.
De Schiffart’s time of 34.25.8 in the 10-km race earned him a CIS second team all-Canadian honour and a Canada West first team all-star nod. He is the first Spartans male cross country athlete to be named to a CIS all-Canadian.
Declan White (35:12.7, 17th) earned a Canada West first team all-star nod and Blair Johnston (35:37.7, 35th) was named a Canada West second team all-star.
This year’s results mark the first time TWU has put three male athletes on the Canada West all-star teams.