Trinity Western’s Fiona Benson will don the Maple Leaf

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(ISN) – LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western’s Fiona Benson (Dawson Creek, B.C.) will don the Maple Leaf for the first time as a senior athlete as she was named to the Canadian team that will compete in the 41st edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, which take place in Guiyang, China on Mar. 28, 2015.

Benson earned her spot on the Canadian side after finishing seventh overall at the 2014 Canadian Cross Country Championships this past November in Vancouver. The fifth-year Spartans athlete completed the eight kilometre route in 29:52.

This is the second time in the last three years that Benson has earned an opportunity to represent Canada at the World Cross Country Championships. In 2012, she finished sixth amongst Canadians in the senior race at the Canadian Cross Country Championships, but elected to compete with TWU at the 2013 Canada West and CIS Championships rather than represent Canada.

This year, with both the Canada West track and field championships (Feb. 27-28) and the CIS championships (Mar. 12-14) scheduled one week later than usual, Benson will be able to represent both Canada and TWU.

“We are really excited that Fiona has earned this fantastic opportunity and we’re glad that she is going to get the chance to compete for Canada,” said Spartans coach Laurier Primeau. “This speaks to our believe that Trinity Western track and field isn’t just about success in the CIS, but it’s about putting athletes on provincial and national teams.”

Prior to the World Championships the Canadian athletes will compete at the Panamerican Cross Country Cup in Barranquilla, Colombia, Feb. 21-22. NACAC area champions will be determined through separate scoring of NACAC nations within the Panamerican Cup.

Benson previously wore the Red and White in 2011 as a junior athlete when she earned a silver medal at the NACAC Championships (North America and Caribbean). She then went on to represent Canada at the World Championships in Spain, where she was fifth amongst the Canadian junior runners and 65th overall.

Team Canada

Senior Women

Name Hometown

Fiona Benson Dawson Creek, BC

Lindsay Carson Whitehorse, YK

Jillian Forsey Kippens, NL

Rachel Hannah Barrie, ON

Natasha Labeaud Kelowna, BC

Natasha Wodak Vancouver, BC

Junior Women

Name Hometown

Jennie Baragar-Petrash Winnipeg, MB

Nicole Hutchinson West Vancouver, BC

Branna MacDougall Kingston, ON

Mirelle Martens Grande Prairie, AB

Claire Smith Ottawa, ON

Hannah Woodhouse Clarksburg, ON

Senior Men

Name Hometown

Barry Britt Hampton, NB

Ryan Cassidy Grande-Digue, NB

Matt Johnson Regina, SK

Kevin Tree Tottenham, ON

Kelly Wiebe Swift Current, SK

Junior Men

Name Hometown

Jules Burnotte Sherbrooke, QC

Justyn Knight Vaughn, ON

Rory Linkletter Calgary, AB

Jeremiah Ort Carman, MB

Benjamin Preisner Milton, ON

Nathan Tadesse Surrey, BC

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