Michel Belanger

OTTAWA (CIS) – Eleven Canadian Interuniversity Sport student-athletes will head to Poland this spring for the 18th FISU world university cross country championships.

FISU cross country website:

Lodz 2012 website:

The competition is set for Saturday, April 14 in Lodz, Poland’s third largest city situated approximately 135 kilometres south-west of Warsaw.

Canada is coming off its best-ever performance at the biennial event, which was held on Canadian soil for the first time in history in 2010. The women captured team bronze on the course of Fort Henry Hill in Kingston, Ont., while the men finished just outside the podium, in fourth place.

Highlighting the 2012 Canadian selection are four members of the University of Guelph Gryphons, who resumed their domination of CIS cross country last month claiming a seventh straight women’s team title and a sixth consecutive men’s banner.

The Gryphons’ foursome includes Lydia Frost of Bocabec, Ont., and Carise Thompson of Lynden, Ont., as well as male teammates Aaron Hendrikx of Parkhill, Ont., and Allan Brett of Ottawa.

Rounding out the women’s squad are University of Toronto’s Tamara Jewett, University of Victoria’s Stephanie Trenholm and Laval University’s Catherine Cormier. On the men’s side, the red and white team is completed by University of Windsor teammates Matt Walters and Paul Janikowski, as well as Dylan Haight and Chris Childs, both from UVic.

All 11 runners were named all-Canadians this past season after finishing in the Top 14 at the CIS championships in Quebec City, including first-team nods for Jewett (second), Thompson (fourth), Trenholm (fifth), Cormier (sixth), Frost (seventh), Walters (third), Janikowski (fifth), Hendrikx (sixth) and Brett (seventh). Haight (eighth) and Childs (ninth) merited second-team all-Canadian status.

Jewett, who hails from Toronto, and Walters, a native of North Bay, Ont., claimed individual silver and bronze, respectively, at the CIS meet on the Plains of Abraham.

Of the group, only Brett competed at the last FISU championships in Kingston, where he finished in 24th position.

Keith Butler from the University of Victoria will be Canada’s head coach in Poland. He will be assisted by UVic colleague Ingrid Ruys and Windsor’s Gary Malloy.

Great Britain is the reigning women’s team champion after finishing ahead of Australia and Canada two years ago. Japan captured the men’s crown at Fort Henry Hill, with Spain and Great Britain rounding out the podium.