Cougars send athletes to Kingston for cross-country national championships

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Cougars hit the snowy trails/David Moll / University of Calgary Athletics

Wind, rain or snow, the Cougars will be on the prowl

Four Cougars are headed to Kingston to compete at the U-Sports Championships for cross country. The small but mighty bunch will consist of Matthew Johnson, Kaelen Kolb, Kaylee Tymo, and Sarah Novakowski. Notably, the team will run without Canada West rookie of the year and top Canada West finisher Ron Maclean, who will sit out the competition out to begin preparations for the 2020 indoor season. Although it was a tough decision not to race, Maclean considers his inaugural cross-country season a success.

“I was super happy with it. Before that I’d never ran 10k, so I was a little nervous to run the 10k, but (our coach) Bevin told us all to go out conservative and save it for the last half of the race, and I felt notably strong on the second half.”

On being named rookie of the year, for Maclean it was just an afterthought, but a sweet one, nonetheless.

“Getting rookie of the year was just the cherry on top. It was in the back of my mind in the last 2k, but I didn’t know who a rookie was and who was not, so I was just trying to reel in as many guys as possible.”

Coming into a new team as a Canadian Junior Champion can be a lot of pressure, something Maclean can attest to.

“I didn’t feel like there was any pressure from the coaches, but I did feel a little bit of pressure in my first year running for the University and running as a Cougar.”

Despite cheering from back in Regina, Maclean thinks that the Cross-Country squad will continue to make waves in Kingston.

“All four of them are really gritty runners so I think no matter what they are gonna (sic) go out and give it their all.”

Although Maclean will not be in Kingston, another rookie is headed there to represent the green and gold, Sarah Novakowski, who has big goals for the final meet of the season.

“I am very excited to race against tough competitors, who will push me to accomplish the best race I can. Though we only have a small team of only four runners going to U Sports Cross Country Nationals, our team is dedicated and determined.”

While the Cougars do not have enough athletes to field teams at the competition, they will be looking for strong individual performances from their four athletes.

After U Sports Nationals on November 9 the team will begin the indoor season. Their first tune up will be the Cougars intra-squad competition on Nov, 23.

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