A historic weekend for the cross country team

Concordia had their best showing ever at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport cross-country running championships this weekend in Sherbrooke.

The men’s team came in 15th out of 19 teams, while the women were 15th out of 17. Ten of the team’s members had top-100 finishes.

Head coach John Lofranco said that “the hard work of the athletes” and the team’s size this year contributed to their improvement. He explained that it’s harder to get faster when two runners who train together don’t run at the same speed. It’s when they have someone to chase, or someone chasing them, that they improve.

“Obviously everybody is, to a certain extent, internally motivated to go faster, but if you have someone right at your shoulder, it’s an extra motivator that pushes you along.”

Coralina Tse concluded her rookie year by finishing first among the Concordia women. Her time of 19:33 put her in 31st place, the second-best time of any Quebec runner and third-best of any rookie. Her performance is now the best ever by a female member of the team.

Tse was happy with the race she ran, but noted it was hard for her.

“It was just about trying not to let anyone keep up, and trying to keep up to people who were in front of me and to really give everything I had.”

Concordia’s Dominique Roy finished not far behind Tse. A time of 19:34.1 put her in the 34th spot.

“I was happy to see where Dominique finished because she hadn’t been able to race full out all season,” Lofranco commented.

Stephane Colle was the top finisher for the men’s team, coming across the line in 23rd place. Out of the competitors from the Quebec conference, he finished second. Olivier Lavoie from Sherbrooke finished two seconds ahead of him. The two also finished in the first and second position at the Quebec conference finals on Halloween weekend in Laval.

The men’s team captain was Concordia’s next runner to finish. Ryan Noel-Hodge’s time of 34:32 was good for 48th place.

The Guelph Gryphons continued their dominance in the sport after both the men and women took the team titles.

The team will now take two weeks off to recharge before training starts at the Stinger Dome and Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard for the indoor track and field season.

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