This week we are flashing back to the 2008-09 men’s cross country team.
Back Row (L-R): Amber Corkum (Trainer), Matt Sheffield (Assistant Coach), Al Yarr (Assistant Coach), Ryan Kiros, Heather Hennigar (Head Coach), Brian MacLaughlin (Assistant Coach), Pam Yarr (Assistant Coach)
Front Row (L-R): Evan Bezanson, Russell Christie, Justin Vere, David Anderson, Keith Murdock, P.J. Rasmussen
The Tigers had a great deal of turnover for the 2008-09 season. The introduction of a new head coach in Heather Hennigar, and the loss of some key runners, led the Tigers into a large transition year ahead. This required the leadership of seniors Russell Christie and Ryan Kiros to be key in bringing the team together in time for the competitive season.
The first test was an exhibition race at StFX. Christie proved his ability to lead the team by winning with ease. Rookies Matt Reddy and Justin Vere performed well executing their race plans perfectly. The second exhibition race was held at Saint Mary’s and once again they showcased their ability to come together over a short period of time. Vere demonstrated his potential as possible AUS rookie of the year with an 11th place finish, while Phillip Rasmussen made his season debut placing 18th in the race.
Next the team travelled to Quebec where they had a disappointing team finish with many runners unable to finish the race. Christie was again the top performer for the Tigers, crossing the line in third.
The AUS championship was held at l’Universite de Moncton, and the men were determined to outperform their rival StFX. The rookies would be racing the 10km distance for the first time on a course that is known for being one of the toughest. Christie performed very well and placed fifth, earning an AUS all-star nod, while Kiros crossed the line in 11th to be named the AUS rookie of the year. Vere came was next to cross the line just ahead of teammate Rasmussen, finishing 17th and 18th respectively. Their performances, earned them a third-place team finish behind StFX and UNB.
Christie was the lone Tiger runner at the CIS championship and placed 12th in the event to earn CIS second team all-Canadian status.