Williams Lake’s Conlan Sprickerhoff recently captained the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s cross country team into the BC Cross Country Championships at Beban Park, Nanaimo.
Sixty-six women and 102 men entered in their respective races, including some of the top runners from Kenya, Ethiopia and other countries, in distances of six-kilometres and eight kilometres.
WolfPack running head coach Carmin Mazzotta said Sprickerhoff closed well over the final one kilometre to finish within three seconds of his teammate, Brennen Smith, in 45th overall and 27th in the senior men’s category.
“A solid display of quality team running in a race situation,” Mazzotta said.
“Impressively, even after adding 100 seconds to make up for the 500-metre differential [in the course distance], which is more than enough at the pace these men were running, this resulted in big personal bests for all three [of our men’s runners], with adjusted times in the low 27-minute range over eight kilometres for all three.
Mazzotta said although the team still has a ways to go before they can legitimately compete as a team of five to seven (five runners score in cross country and the two additional runners can serve to displace other teams in scoring) at a CIS National Championship race, they have several individuals on both the men’s and women’s sides who can be in the mix and hold their own.
“We intend to grow that number as we continue to build the program in the coming years,” he said.
Next up for the WolfPack is the Larry Nicholas nine kilometre race on Sunday, Nov. 1 where the entire TRU cross country team will be racing.
“For most of the runners, this will be their last competition of the season,” Mazzotta said.
“A decision will be made within the next week to 10 days about which athletes on the team will be representing TRU at the CIS National Championships in Guelph, Ont., the epicentre of Canadian distance running, on Nov. 14.”