It appears the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack cross country team will have a lot of depth when it opens up its 2018-19 Canada West season in September. The WolfPack have made a number of key additions as it looks to field a young, enthusiastic squad.
Head coach Carmin Mazzotta is pleased to announce his newest recruit, Brooklyn Higgs of Squamish, BC. Higgs is a graduate of Coast Mountain Academy. She has an interesting back story which shows the dedication she has devoted to this sport.
“I come from a small school,’ she says. “ There wasn’t really a structured cross country team. However, I took every chance I could to participate in their extracurricular sports teams such as basketball and Ultimate. I started cross country running by myself two years ago, and have seriously taken up training and competing since this past September while at the same time, started running with a local group.”
Higgs explains why cross country running is a pastime, “Originally I started running to improve my cardiovascular fitness. However, as I began running more and more, I started being able to appreciate my surroundings and the silence that I was running in. Now, running is almost a form of meditation and relaxation for me as I am able to clear my mind and think; I look forward to it every day.”
She will be taking courses aimed at getting a Bachelor of Sciences Degree at Thompson Rivers. “Thompson Rivers University is a very beautiful and welcoming campus,” she says. “I appreciated how much nature and green space was incorporated into the central area of the buildings and the Tournament Capital Centre is an incredible athletics facility.”
Mazzotta has this to say about his latest recruit, “Brooklyn really evaluated her options and took her time in deciding to come to TRU, which I respect. It shows that she has a mindfulness about decisions she makes and that she is trying to plan the best path forward for herself. That kind of careful consideration lends itself well to cross country running, where you have to strike a balance between training hard and not overdoing it, while also taking the time to do all the little things in terms of injury prevention that keeps you healthy and allows you to train more consistently.”
Having not worked with a coach before, Higgs is looking forward to being directed by Mazzotta and his staff, “I have been coaching myself while occasionally running with one of the local run groups and have been happy with the improvements I have seen in my performance. I believe that with the proper coaching from Carmin, I’ll be able to improve and excel even more; I am really looking forward to running in a team environment as well. As a long term Alpine Skiing athlete, I have experience in formal coaching where I have thrived with a structured development plan.”
Higgs says her first year goals are to learn from the experienced coaches, beat her personal records, meet like-minded people and enjoy running while having fun.
Mazzotta says the WolfPack women’s team is taking shape with veterans Zoe Painter and Kendra Murray (both Whitehorse, YK), Samantha Loewen (Vernon, BC) and Erica Johnson (Abbotsford, BC) being joined by newcomers Kristen Hansen (St. Albert, AB), Paralympian Emily Young (Kelowna, BC) and now Higgs. “We have a number of athletes with strong potential. Brooklyn is one of those athletes.”
The other newcomer to the WolfPack cross country squad is Kamloops product Calum Carrigan (South Kamloops Secondary).
Higgs adds, “I want to thank Carmin for being so kind, and welcoming, and for being such a great communicator. I appreciate the effort he put into getting me in contact with one of the current members of the cross country team and it really helped me feel comfortable in making my decision. I also want to thank Zoe Painter for being so helpful and kind as well as she made me feel welcome on the team. It was a game change to talk to a current runner-student that spoke so highly of the team, Carmin, and the overall TRU experience.”