Cross Country Running
The 2018-19 Cross Country Running (XC) season should be an exciting one for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. Coach Carmin Mazzotta had a daunting task facing him going into the recruiting season with a number of holes to fill because of graduation, including longstanding Team Captain Conlan Sprickerhoff (Williams Lake, BC).
Any concerns that the coach had were greatly eased as a number of recruits have joined the Wolfpack contingent, including Paralympic gold and silver medalist Emily Young of Kelowna, BC; veteran collegiate runner Kristen Hansen of St. Albert, Alberta; and top local high school runner Calum Carrigan of South Kamloops Secondary.
Carrigan in particular is the highest-ranked athlete the program has yet recruited, and represents a huge step forward for the men’s side. Calum recently finished just off the podium in 4th in the 800 meter final at the BC High School Track and Field Championships, the day after finishing 5th in the province in the 1500 meter race.
Other recruits to the program include local triathlete star Sophie Ogilvie, also of South Kamloops Secondary, and Brooklyn Higgs of Squamish, BC. The women’s team will be strengthened by standout returning athletes Zoe Painter and Kendra Murray, both hailing from Whitehorse, YK, and by Samantha Loewen (Vernon, BC), and Erica Johnson (Abbotsford, BC).
In addition to Calum, the men’s team will look to the standout runner from the 2017 XC season, Troy Morgan (Hythe, AB), and a supporting cast that includes Liam McGrath (Vernon, BC), Jaydin Haskins (Smithers, BC), and Etienne Lavigne (Russell, ON).
Mazzotta’s coaching staff includes triathlete Kaileen McCulloch (Smithers, BC), and may also include former captain Sprickerhoff.
The team will compete in races across the province including the BC Cross Country Championships, before making a decision on the squad that will represent the Wolfpack at the USPORTS National Cross Country Championships, taking place at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON in November.