SASKATOON – Courtney Hufsmith led the way by finishing 11th in the nation and third in Canada West as the University of Saskatchewan Huskies cross country teams wrapped up their 2018-19 campaign in Kingston, Ont. at the U SPORTS National Championship on Nov. 10.
“We raised the bar this year in terms of our expectations and the standards for the program,” said Huskies head coach Jason Reindl. “For us to have six women and three men work to surpass those standards is an accomplishment and now we just need to debrief, reflect and continue to make those big steps for the future.”
Hufsmith went out hard and was among the lead pack for much of the race to eventually cross the line in a time of 29:00.4. The effort put forth at nationals sees an outstanding season come to an end for Hufsmith, who won three races in the lead up to nationals and then earn the distinction of Canada West First Team All-Star and U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian for her result today.
“The game plan right from the get-go was for her to put herself in contention for the win,” said Reindl. “She has been dealing with some injuries over the last week so unfortunately that disrupted her timing a little bit.”
Running in cold and windy conditions, the Huskies women’s team finished 17th in the nation and fifth in the conference.
“Yesterday we were preparing for the muddiest course you could imagine and then today we had blue skies, but also some strong wind gusts and that was definitely a condition to be dealt with,” said Reindl.
“We were better than last year, so a lot of positives from there and we also had a lot of young runners,” said Reindl. “For them today was about building experience and working towards next year.”
While the Huskies men didn’t enter a team into the competition, they did send three runners to nationals and all three battled the conditions to cross the line in Kingston.
Jared Welsh, as he has done all season, led the men with a time of 34:06, with Jon Fernades crossing the line just seconds later at 34:35. Taryn Heidecker rounded out the men’s squad in a time of 34:54.
“Jon ran extremely well for this being his first year in the sport and Jared was once again our top finisher, he put in a valiant effort,” said Reindl.
W First Team All-Canadians
1. Brogan MacDougall, Queen’s (27:48.6)
2. Aurélie Dubé-Lavoie, Laval (28:02.1)
3. Catherine Beauchemin, Laval (28:05.4)
4. Danielle Jossinet, Guelph (28:11.8)
5. Melissa Jones, Calgary (28:28.7)
6. Anne-Marie Comeau, Laval (28:31.8)
7. Jessy Lacourse, Laval (28:33.5)
W Second Team All-Canadians
8. Alison Irvine, Victoria (28:34.0)
9. Branna MacDougall, Queen’s (28:45.8)
10. Hannah Woodhouse, Guelph (28:49.4)
11. Courtney Hufsmith, Saskatchewan (29:00.4)
12. Meggie Dargis, McGill (29:01.2)
13. Makenna Fitzgerald, Queen’s (29:07.5)
14. Nicola Symonds, UBC (29:09.6)
W Team Standings
- Laval, 55
- Queen’s, 62
- Guelph, 108
- UBC, 191
- McGill, 195
- Victoria, 206
- Trinity Western, 224
- Calgary, 227
- Dalhousie, 277
- Laurentian, 306
- Montreal, 376
- StFX, 381
- Toronto, 386
- Western, 389
- McMaster, 402
- Sherbrooke, 417
- Saskatchewan, 450
- Laurier, 501
- Regina, 596
- Manitoba, 701