World-Class Runners to Compete at U of G

November 28, 2007 - News Release

World-class runners will be competing this Saturday at the University of Guelph in the national cross-country championships.

This is the first time U of G will host the national race, which is a qualifier for the national team and is one of the largest cross-country races in Canada. A racecourse has even been specially designed for the event.

"Olympic athletes and other elite runners are coming from across North America to race here," said Dave Scott-Thomas, coach of the Gryphon cross-country team, who organized the event and helped design the course. "Close to a thousand runners will be competing, and another couple of thousand people are expected to come out and watch, so it's a great opportunity to showcase the University, especially to high school runners still deciding where they want to go."

The top Canadian runners racing this weekend include Guelph native Hilary Stellingwerf, who won the 1,500-metre race at the Canadian championship earlier this year and came sixth at the world championships; Megan Metcalfe, who won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games and holds the Canadian title for 5,000 metres; Reid Coolsaet, reigning 5,000-metre Canadian champion; Dylan Wykes, 10-km Canadian road race champion; and Carmen Douma-Hussar, who has competed in numerous international events, including the 2007 world championships.

U of G will have 10 athletes from the Gryphon cross-country team competing under the banner of the Speed River Track Club on Saturday. Some of the favourites include Lindsay Carson, who recently captured individual gold in the CIS women's five-kilometre race, and the senior men's team, made up of students who won the CIS team gold, as well as alumni runners who are coached by Scott-Thomas through the city's track club.

"The University of Guelph is probably the best scene in distance running in the country," said Scott-Thomas.

In preparation for the event, race committee members have been working since March on creating a two-loop course specifically designed for cross-country running. The 5.5-km course runs through the Arboretum, with the starting line at the R.J. Hilton Centre.

Seven races are scheduled for the day --- men and women's juniors and seniors, masters, a five-km community race and a one-km children's race for runners 12 and under. The day kicks off with the community race, which is open to anyone and begins at 9:45 a.m.

A banquet for the competitive runners will be held Saturday night in the atrium of the science complex and will feature footage of the day's races.

For more information and a race schedule

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1