(ISN) – LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western track and field head coach Laurier Primeau added a key piece to the Spartans women’s cross country and middle distance teams, as he officially announced the signing of this year’s ACAC (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference) Female Athlete of the Year, Mirelle Martens (Grande Prairie, Alta.),Thursday.
Martens joins the Spartans after an illustrious rookie season at the collegiate level this past year in which she won individual gold medals at both the ACAC and CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Conference) cross country championships, while also helping Grand Prairie Regional College win the national team title.
Beyond her collegiate efforts, Martens also finished 3rd at the 2014 Canadian Junior Cross Country Championships, which earned her the right to represent Canada at both the Pan American Cross Country Cup in Colombia this past February and, most recently, at the 2015 IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in China. At the Pan American Cup, she finished 24th overall and at the World Junior Championships, she was 94th.
On the track, Martens was also a double gold medallist at this year’s ACAC championships, finishing atop the podium in both the 1500m and 3000m.
Martens, who graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School in Grande Prairie in 2014, also has a 4.0 GPA at GPRC and earned both CCAA National Scholar status and the ACAC’s Academic Athletic Award.
“Many factors had to align for us to earn the privilege of signing Mirelle Martens,” Primeau said. “We felt there was a really good philosophy fit between the intended direction of our program and Mirelle’s own goals and, with Bill Corcoran having done an incredible job with her at Grand Prairie Regional College, as he did with Fiona Benson, we know we are inheriting a well-coached athlete.
“In four short years, Mark Bomba (Spartans endurance coach) has built one of the top programs in the nation and Mirelle fit in fabulously with our team when she came for her visit. She comes to TWU with an incredible academic history and possesses a competitive spirit on the track and the trails. However, off the track, she has a demeanor that makes Mirelle one of the easiest people to get along with. We’re excited to have her join us this September.”
Martens, who plans to study kinesiology added: “I am attending TWU because I feel comfortable there, as it fits my personality, and I feel like I will be able to thrive as a runner and as an individual.”
Martens arrives at TWU via a remarkably similar path to that of the recently graduated Benson, who also went to GPRC for one year, finished first at the CCAA championships and represented Canada at the World Junior Championships before transferring to TWU in the fall of 2011.
This past season, the Spartans women’s cross country team and women’s track and field team both won the Canada West championships for the second year in a row and both finished second at the CIS national championships.