The ACAC Grand Prix #4 of the 2018 season kicked off in Vermillion last weekend. Augustana athletes left a sunny Camrose at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning to set out for the race held by Lakeland College, where temperatures were hovering around 0 degrees before windchill. At 17 athletes, this was the most attended race by Augustana so far this year, and coaches Gerhard Lotz and Robert Renman couldn't have been more thrilled. This was an important race for the season, as the team will be returning to the course in a short 3 weeks for the ACAC Championship.
"It was the most challenging course we've been on this year" says Coach Gerhard Lotz. "It was the tough technical downhills that made it so challenging… and the big climb to the finish!"
The Vikings Women's Cross Country Team is currently ranked 13th in the country. Catherine Alcorn led the Vikings women in at 27:04, placing ninth out of 40 ACAC runners. Hot on her heels, Mackenzie Grove with a time of 27:49 and Anne Mirejovsky (28:13). As the wind picked up, the men's race went out with some speed — in part due to the dropping temperatures. Augustana's Michio Green headed up the close line up of Vikings men, who are giving each other lots of competition this season. Green was closely followed by Nathanael Tabert (31:01) and Augustana's ski team athlete-coach Ben Osorio at 31:58.
When asked how the team will stand up to this adversity when we run again at provincials, Lotz says, "The running we did [here] is going to make us better for the next time we get to tackle the course. We'll be better prepared."
Looking forward, the team takes a short break from racing over Thanksgiving weekend and returns to the competition trails at our very own Stoney Creek Valley the following weekend. The race will be held Saturday October 13th with race times at noon and 1 p.m. in conjunction with Augustana's first ever (After) Turkey Trot - a Fun Run/Walk for the Community.
"It's a fantastic race for spectators because you can see so much of it. You'd be surprised how exciting it is to watch", says Lotz, who's eyes light up at the very mention of our home event.
The Augustana race has the biggest turnout in Alberta - bigger than the ACAC Championship. Our trails are known as the premier race course in the province - a status that the small core of Augustana runners are proud to uphold. Show your support by coming out to cheer on your fellow Vikings and experience the traditions of one of the oldest - and fastest - teams on campus.
Submitted by Tayla Koerber