CALGARY (Nov. 8, 2014) — Mirelle Martens led from start to finish to cap off an amazing rookie season with the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves.
The 18-year-old Martens captured first place in the women’s five-kilometre race Saturday afternoon at the SAIT Polytechnic-hosted Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross-Country Running National Championships at Confederation Park in Calgary.
“I like to lead a lot, so I tried to lead,” said Martens, who finished with a time of 18 minutes 29 seconds. “I tried to stay strong and set the pace for the one-kilometre lap and the two-kilometre laps. At the end of the last two-kilometre lap I just tried to pick it up down that hill and tried to create a gap.”
Jessy Lacourse (Cégep de Victoriaville) finished second with a time of 19:00. Lindsay Webster (Humber College) placed third in 19:13.
Martens won every race she entered during the year, including a gold medal performance at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Championships on Oct. 25 in Fort McMurray, Alta.
“Relief, for sure,” Martens said about her thoughts crossing the finish line as a national champion. “And just hoping that my teammates would come soon.”
And they did, as her Wolves earned team gold. It was the women’s team first medal at nationals since taking bronze in 2005. The host SAIT Trojans finished in second place for the second-straight year. Lethbridge College made it a clean sweep for the ACAC by finishing third – their first medal since winning silver in 2009.
In the men’s eight-kilometre race, Cégep Edouard-Montpetit’s Jérémy Briand used a strong push at the finish to win the gold medal in a time of 27:07.
Briand raced past Lethbridge College Kodiaks runner, Edwin Kaitany, in the final 100-metres to secure the win. He admitted after the race that he had resigned himself to silver after watching Kaitany widen the gap between first and second as the race progressed.
“I was second for the whole race, and on the last hill I just got really close to him,” said Briand, who finished fourth at nationals last year. “I am really strong at the finish, so when I saw the gap with 100m to go, I knew that I could get it.”
Briand’s season also included a silver medal performance at the 2014 Réseau du sport étudient du Québec (Quebec Student Sport Federation) Provincial Championships in Grand-Mère, Que.
Kaitany, who finished in 27:11, earns silver one year after winning the bronze medal in 2013. Fleming College’s Riley Hubbard-Olesky grabbed bronze with a time of 27:22.
Humber College won the men’s team gold medal for the first time in school history. Fanshawe College earned silver – their tenth straight medal at the CCAA Nationals. Champlain College Saint-Lambert Cavaliers went away with the bronze – the men’s team’s first-ever medal on the national stage.
The host Trojans finished in tenth place.
(By Brody Mark, SAIT Trojans Sports Writer ; photo by Andrew Crossett)
RESULTS -November 8, 2014 Confederation Park, Calgary, AB