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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

November 25, 2012, Vancouver, B.C. – In one of Canada’s biggest annual cross country events, several men and women from the University of Victoria Vikes cross country teams competed against some of the best runners nationwide.

The most inspired Vikes finish of the day came from 2011 Canada West Rookie of the Year and 2012 Canada West All-Canadian Ryan Cassidy (Grande-Digue, NB), in the senior men’s 10-km event. Last year Cassidy won the junior men’s race and this year, looking for a greater challenge, decided to compete in the senior event.

Cassidy crossed the line seventh overall, an impressive feat in a field of 82 runners with some heavy competition in the form of Olympic athletes Cameron Levins, from Black Creek, B.C. and Mohammed Ahmed, from St. Catherine’s, Ont., as well as current CIS Men’s Cross Country Champion Kelly Wiebe.

Fellow Vikes Doug Oxland (Nanaimo, BC) and Josh Clouthier (Nanaimo, BC) also competed in the senior men’s 10-km. Oxland came in at 14th with a time of 31:01.06 while Clouthier clocked a time of 31:29.58 to come in at 23rd. Racing in the junior men’s 8-km was rookie Cole Peterson (Edmonton, Alta.), crossing the line 59th with a time of 26:33.88.

Competing on the women’s side in the junior women’s 5-km event was first-year Emma Bibault (High River, AB). Among 137 runners, Bibault came in at 46th with a time of 18:37.44. Racing in the senior women’s 7-km was Brittany Therrien (Victoria, BC), doing well to place 17th in a field of 67 athletes.

The 2012 Canadian Championships was the final cross country event of the year for the UVic runners. They will resume competition in the New Year with the University of Washington Invitational, Jan. 11, as they begin their track and field season.