2019 Year in review.

I noticed i’ve let the blog slip a little bit. Now is as good as time as any to kickstart it.

A few things have changed since I last posted. I’ve been fortunate enough to move out to Vancouver and lead the UBC endurance program. This move would not have been possible with out Steve Boyd at Queen’s and Laurier Primeau at UBC who both trusted me- Steve over the years to develop me via monitorship and Laurier to  bring me on in this new full time role! Huge thanks to both of you. It sure has been weird leaving Kingston and my friends, family and training groups. However, I wouldn’t trade it this experience has given me an opportunity to do what I love and help build a program even further than I thought we could at Queen’s. Speaking of Queen’s, Congrats to the Women’s team, finally you can call yourself champions. Now that you have one, watch out because UBC is coming!

I’ve learned a-lot this year and have taken away so many moments and messages that have made me a better coach along the way. Thanks to the athletes past and present who trust me to help them get faster and have a lot of fun along the way. All of these performances below represent some pretty cool moments that athletes I’ve been fortunate enough to work with have accomplished. I Can’t wait to see what the list looks like next year!

10 Alex Campbell NG OFSAA Bronze

I’ve been fortunate enough to help Alex develop over the last 2 years in elementary and work to balance swimming and running while keeping both competitive and fun. Working with Steve Weiler and I this year, in her first high school championship she ran herself into an OFSAA  bronze medal. The poise and experience she showed in her preparation and handling race day nerves was well beyond her years and I can’t wait to watch what she does through the rest of her career! Hopefully following in her sisters’ footsteps and saving her best for grade 12 and beyond!

alex

9 UBC Women finish 4th at U sports.

If anyone knows anything about runner up finishes / curses it’s me during my time at Queen’s and the Mac Men J. Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long for us at UBC to crack the medals at Usports as it took both those teams to eventually reach their goals. The women ran extremely well at Usports this year narrowly missing a medal against 3 powerhouse teams Queen’s, Guelph and Laval. Ultimately, we came shy by 24 points to Laval returning their team that claimed the championship last year.

UBC women

8 Naomi Lang Usports ROY and ACXC 2nd place

Naomi came in from Scotland this year and was an instant fit on our team her amazing attitude coupled with her abilities on the course was fun to watch. Catching the rest of Canada off guard was pretty fun as well. Naomi came in and finished 11th at Usports earning herself ROY honours, and finished off her Canadian season at ACXC with a strong battle to the finish against Canadian superstar Taryn Oneil. Naomi won’t be running track for us at UBC this year but she will be around racing individually

Naomi

7 Kara Blair 16:45 Ottawa Twilight

It only took me 2 years to convince her she wasn’t a 600/800m runner. After a winter and spring of slowly building back up and getting healthy Kara debuted her distance chops at Ottawa in a twilight meet just as an opportunity to get a race in. Little did we know she would run her last 3k sub 10 minutes and her last km in sub 3:10 to run 16:45 in what was her official 5k debut. Her hard work continued to pay off as she set audacious goals and accomplished what I always believed she could do (top 10 U sports XC finish) finishing 4th for Queen’s and earning herself a spot on the FISU team. Congrats Kara, Best of Luck at FISU!

6 UBC Women’s Can West Team Title

Watching the UBC women control the race from the front was a special way to spend my first championship with the UBC team. They executed perfectly on the day in brutal conditions and had a blast doing it. I can’t wait to watch this team continue to build over the years. Lots of exciting times ahead at UBC!

Can west

5 Nicola Symonds Can West Win

In her final year on undergrad Nicola took the win in a hotly contested sprint finish at Can West to win her first title in her hometown, with friends and family watching, where she ran her first race. You couldn’t write a story better than what this fish did on the day!

4 Anna Workman 4:23 1500m at 1500m night

I’d be lying if I said, I or anyone else saw this one coming. After battling a rough spring of health issues. We almost called the season after OFSSA but alas we could not miss out on the PB train that is the London 1500m night. In the HP section Anna went to the back and did work the rest of the way with a blazing fast last 600m looking as determined as ever. I will always remember the look of pure elation Anna had on her face when her time came up on the clock 4:23.06. Best of luck at UVA next year!

anna

3 MacKenzie Campbell Qualifying for Pan Am XC

Mackenzie finally had her breakout year that myself and those who have seen her for years knew was coming. After an excellent summer, and an okay start to the fall season Mack dealt with a flu that kept her out of most of her preliminary races. At OFSSA she ran to her potential and finished 6th place and gained confidence heading into Nationals in Abbotsford. A hard fought last 400m saw her pass two athletes – a year her senior to nab the last qualifying spot on the Pan Am team. Good luck to MacKenzie  at Pan am next year in her post-secondary studies.

Mack

2 Kieran Lumb U-sports Victory

Having only known Kieran for a couple months going into the championships it is clear he is an intelligent hard working and driven young man with a bright future ahead in the sport. This win may have shocked some after a disappointing finish at the CanWest championships that saw him finish third. Not losing a stride and sticking to the plan he bounced back and executed perfectly to secure his first U sports victory

Kieran1 Makenna Fitzgerald NACAC and World Junior XC performances

Makenna shot onto the scene in her first year in the sport, qualifying for the NACAC and World Junior xc teams. She finished an amazing 31st at world XC in only her 4th championship XC race of her young career. She is a savvy racer who is mature beyond her years. I Can’t wait to see how Makenna follows this up next year.

makenna

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