By Mackenzie Holden
This week’s Flashback Friday goes to the 2010-2011 women’s AUS Champion cross country team.
FRONT ROW (L-R): Sarah Currie, Cara Groves, Hannah Walker, Jessica Shofield, Gina Stewart, Shannon McCarey, Sara Ubbens, Gwen Muir
BACK ROW (L-R): Al Yarr (Assistant Coach), Caroline Schlosser (Captain), Jessica Belliveau, Stephanie Bennett, Britany MacArthur, Ashley Ryer, Richard Lehman (Assistant Coach), Heather Hennigar (Head Coach)
The 2010-11 women’s cross country team was poised to make serious waves nationally even before the season had started. With an already strong core, the Tigers had the addition of three stand out transfers (Jessica Belliveau, Gina Stewart and Ashley Ryer) to help them in their pursuit of an AUS title.
In the first meet of the year, the Tigers till won the meet handily, setting the tone for the rest of the year, , despite missing three of their top runners due to injury. The following weekend, the Tigers hosted their own race in Point Pleasant Park. Star transfer Stewart won the race with fellow Tiger Cara Groves close behind in second. Belliveau, made her season debut after sitting out the previous weekend with injury and placed fifth.
Two weeks later, the Tigers really showed that on any given day, any one of their female runners could win. With Stewart out with the flu, Caroline Schlosser stepped up and took the individual win. After competing in the AUS-Quebec interlock, which pitted the Tigers undefeated streak against some very good Quebec squads, Dal emerged with a perfect winning record and ready for the AUS championship.
All year Dal and StFX had battled for supremacy in the AUS and it appeared to be no different this time. Led by Schlosser’s very first individual AUS title, the Tigers put five women inside the top 11, which would cement the win and the conference crown. This would be the 18th AUS title for the women, but they knew the work was not finished, as they still had their sights on the CIS championship in Sherbrooke.
Entering the CIS championship, the Tigers held the tenth spot in the national rankings despite an undefeated season. While other teams may have been doubting them, the women knew they could smash their ranking and contend for a top five finish. With Ryer competing in her first race all season, the Tigers squad was at full strength and it showed right from the starting gun as they positioned themselves at the front of the pack. With Belliveau and Schlosser coming in at 15th and 19th respectively, the Tigers were off to a great start in the team scores. Stewart and Ryer crossed the line in 39th and 44th to claim the fifth overall spot at the CIS championship.