Athletes of all ages took part in the Cochrane Endurance Project’s first open cross-country club meet of the season in Canmore Sept. 25.
“It went really, really well,” said Cochrane Endurance Project head coach Travis Cummings. “We had over 140 athletes compete anywhere from U10 age groups up to senior masters’ athletes. We also had a segment of mixed high school relays which was really fun.”
In the women’s open six-kilometre race, senior runner Courtney Brohart was able to place second with a time of 20:57, with strong showings from Sophia Nowicki and Jessica Kaiser, who were able to place fourth and fifth with 21:46 and 21:47, respectively.
Club members also took home second, third and fifth in the mixed relay race.
St. Timothy High School’s Mackenna Myatt, Calgary Centennial High’s Terrell Keys and senior runner Ed Nowicki were able to grab silver while Heidi Moores and Santiago Arias Lara of St. Timothy’s and Annika Fines of Calgary’s Winston Church High took bronze.
Cash prizes were given out to runners who placed in the top three of each race category, which included U10 girls and U10 boys 1-kilometre races, 1.2-kilometre races for U10 girls and boys, 2-kilometre races for U14 girls and boys, 5-kilometre races for girls and boys U16/U18, and senior men and women 6-kilometre races.
Cummings said the senior women’s improved their times over last year.
“Our senior university and post-collegiate athletes had seen big improvements in fitness," he said. "We hosted the same race last year at the same time and our senior women are running way faster than they were last year. We're looking at like 45 seconds to a minute quicker on the same course.”
The Endurance Project hosted cross country club meets locally last year, but all high school cross country meets were put on hold due to the pandemic. Cummings said that seeing the kids able to run again in both high school and club meets has been gratifying with all the hard work they have put into training in their own time and through other athletics.
“They've been very consistent over the last year and a half, two years or so, and we're starting to see the fruits of the labour of that,” Cummings said. “A lot of that's been through COVID so it's just been nice to have competition back because they've been putting so much work in and they haven't been able to display their fitness in competitions.”
Runners from the University of Calgary Athletics Club, Calgary Spartans, Leduc Track and Field Club and Go Athletics, among others, were at the meet.
The Cochrane Endurance Project cross-country season has had three high school meets on Sept. 15 at Canmore Park, Sept. 22 at St. Mary’s University and Sept. 29 at Stanley Park.
Next up is city championships Oct. 6 for St. Timothy’s club members who compete in the Calgary zone. Cochrane High athletes will compete in South Central zones that same day.
Provincials are set to take place Oct. 16 in Red Deer and then nationals will be in Ottawa Nov. 27.
“Hopefully all goes well and nothing gets postponed and cancelled because it really is kind of up in the air right now,” Cummings said.