This week's Throwback Thursday features the women's cross country team of the 2010-11 season. Check out their season recap below.
The 2010 Dalhousie women’s cross country team was one of the most talented and enthusiastic teams in Tigers history. The team first assembled at training camp with a long list of previous AUS all-stars and CIS all-Canadians in the ranks. Caroline Schlosser, Cara Groves and Stephanie Bennett were joined by an impressive group of transfer students including Jessica Belliveau, Gina Stewart and last year’s AUS champion Ashley Ryer. From the very start of training camp, the team appeared poised to make their presence felt at the CIS level.
The team’s first test came on September 18th at the Moncton Classic. The Tigers were led by Stewart and Groves who finished first and second respectively. Bennett and Muir weren’t far behind in seventh and ninth. The Tigers took the team title despite missing top runners Schlosser, Belliveau and Ryer who were out with injuries.
A week later, the Tigers were set to host their home meet at Point Pleasant Park. The women were once again dominant, claiming the team title on the strength of another individual win by Stewart. Once again, Groves was close behind in second place, while Belliveau’s season debut saw her place fifth. Bennett also cracked the top ten with her best race of the season, placing seventh. Muir (12th), Hannah Walker (18th), and Shannon McCarey (19th) were also inside the top twenty. In honour of her success, Stewart was named as Dalhousie’s female Athlete of the Week.
The Tigers continued to show their dominance over the AUS on October 9th at the UNB Open in Fredericton. Captain Caroline Schlosser showed that she was back in the form that saw her achieve all-Canadian status in 2009 as she ran away from the pack for the individual win. Belliveau and Groves were third and fourth respectively, followed by Muir and Walker who were 11th and 12th to seal the team victory for the Tigers on a weekend that saw Stewart sit out with the flu. Schlosser’s win earned her Dalhousie’s female Athlete of the Week award.
Next up was the AUS-Quebec Interlock meet in Sherbrooke, Quebec where the CIS championship was to be held later in the season. The black and gold put their undefeated season on the line against both conferences and despite missing Belliveau in the lineup, were able to come out on top. Schlosser, Groves, and Stewart showed tremendous team tactics as they worked together throughout the race. Schlosser led the way with a third place finish while Groves placed fifth, just twelve seconds behind. Stewart placed eighth while Bennett and Walker rounded out the scoring for the Tigers in 15th and 23rd.
Taking the AUS championship title
The AUS championship was hosted by StFX in Antigonish on October 30th. The Tigers deployed some bold tactics, sending all of their scorers to the front of the race, challenging a strong X-women team to match them. After the third kilometre, it was clear that it would come down to Schlosser and StFX’s Natalie Kannenberg. Schlosser used her veteran savvy and made a move on the technical, hilly back section of the course. She charged away from Kannenberg and won her first ever AUS cross country title in her final year of competition. Belliveau and Groves were close behind in third and fourth place, followed by Stewart in sixth. Bennett rounded out the scoring for the victorious Tigers as she collapsed across the line in eleventh.
The women captured their 18th AUS championship title and Schlosser was named the AUS female athlete of the year and an AUS all-star. Joining her on the all-star team were Belliveau, Groves and Stewart.
As Dalhousie’s female Athlete of the Week, Schlosser was also chosen as the AUS female Athlete of the Week.
Racing for the national title
The next and final stop was the CIS championship in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Although undefeated, the Tigers entered the race ranked tenth in the country. Right from the gun, the Tigers ensured that they would significantly beat their ranking with Belliveau, Schlosser, Stewart, Groves and Ryer (in her first race of the season due to injury) all positioning themselves near the front. Belliveau displayed incredible poise as she led the charge with a 15th place finish, just three seconds shy of an all-Canadian spot. Schlosser was right behind in 18th and Stewart and Ryer worked together to place 39th and 44th respectively. Groves rounded out the scoring, displaying incredible toughness as she battled through a difficult race. The Tigers cut their ranking in half, placing fifth in the CIS.