Cross Country sweeps Applebee’s Team and Athlete of the Month

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Ali Lee

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes Varsity Council has announced their November 2011 winners for the Applebee’s Varsity Council athletes and teams of the month. Following an impressive CIS campaign, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will share the Team of the Month award, while rookies Ellen Pennock and Ryan Cassidy, members of the cross country teams, were named female and male athlete of the month, respectively. All winners will be awarded a gift certificate to Applebee’s Restaurant.

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH – ELLEN PENNOCK, Women’s Cross Country

November was a busy month for first-year Ellen Pennock, of Calgary, AB. Pennock was a force to contend with after closing out her middle distance season with a CIS First Team All-Canadian nod, as well as being named the CIS and Canada West Rookie of the Year and the Canada West Athlete of the Year. Pennock finished with a bronze medal at the CIS National Championships this month in Quebec, helping her team to a silver medal finish. The Canada West First Team All-Star helped her team capture their 19th Canada West title and went on to add to her medal count on Nov. 26 at the Junior National Championships. Pennock crossed the line first in the 5km course in 18:34, winning gold by 13 seconds and qualifying herself for the North American Carribean Championships, hosted in Trinidad in March.

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH – RYAN CASSIDY, Men’s Cross Country

Ryan Cassidy, a rookie of Grand-Digue, NB, became the first person from New Brunswick in history to win a Junior or Senior National Championship. Cassidy, battled hard to earn himself a gold medal at the Junior National Championships on Nov. 26 in Vancouver, B.C. Cassidy finished the 8km race in 26:20 after kicking hard to the finish line past Ontraio athletes Yves Sikawubo and Rob Denault. Along with team mate Ellen Pennock, Cassidy also qualifies for the North American Carribean Championships. Prior to making history, Cassidy helped the Vike’s men’s cross country team to a bronze medal finish at the CIS National Championships in Quebec. Cassidy was named a Canada West First Team All-Star as well as the Canada West Rookie of the year.

TEAM(S) OF THE MONTH – Women’s Cross Country Team

The Vikes women’s cross country team wrapped up their CIS season with a silver medal finish in Quebec this November. Three Vikes were named All-Canadians including First Team members Ellen Pennock, who won Bronze individually, and Stephanie Trenholm, who finished 5th. Senior Laura Mitic closed out the season as a Second Team All-Canadian with a 12th place finish. Pennock, Trenholm and Mitic were all named Canada West First Team All-Stars while Grace Annear and Shauna McInnis were named to the second team. Following the race, Pennock was named CIS and Canada West Rookie of the Year, as well as Canada West Athlete of the Year. Head Coach Brent Fougner was named Canada West Coach of the Year. The Vikes women were also crowned Canada West Champions, their 19th title. Earlier in the season, the UVic women earned 1st place at the SMU Invitational and UBC Open. On Nov. 26, Pennock captured another gold at the Junior National Championships while Annear finished in 13th.

TEAM(S) OF THE MONTH – Men’s Cross Country Team

The men’s cross country team capped off a brilliant season with a CIS Bronze medal finish in Quebec. Leading the Vikes were second team All-Canadians Dylan Haight, who placed 8th, and senior Cliff Childs, who placed 9th. Five Vikes were named Canada West First Team All-Stars including Haight, Childs, rookie Ryan Cassidy, Jackson Bocksnick and Josh Clouthier. To top off the honours, Cassidy was named Canada West Rookie of the Year while Haight was named Canada West Athlete of the Year. For the second season in a row, coach Keith Butler was named Canada West Coach of the Year. The Vikes claimed their 11th Canada West banner this month following an impressive early season with team first place finishes at the SMU Invitational and UBC Open, followed by a Ryan Cassidy 1st place finish at the Junior National Championships on Nov. 26. The Vikes were ranked every week of the CIS Top 10 polls including three straight #3 rankings this month.

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