by Cody Baugh
It was quite the season for the cross-country team. The Tigers placed all seven runners in the top 15 at the AUS championship including four in the top 10. They would ultimately capture a silver medal as a team and advance to the CIS championship where they placed 16th.
The story of the year was Matt McNeil who had an unbelievable final season with the black and gold. “Matt McNeil had one of the best seasons in Dalhousie cross country history,” says head coach Rich Lehman.
The Tigers started off their season with the DAL/SMU Invitational meet on September 12 at Point Pleasant Park. Matt McNeil won the meet with a time of 19:22. He was followed by Will Russell who came in sixth place and Brendan Gemmell who finished 10th. As a team, the Tigers finished second overall for the meet with 37 points.
McNeil would go on to capture first place at two competitive events at Guelph and Laval that featured some of the top teams in the country. He won the Vic Matthews Guelph Invitational with a time of 31:52. Will Russell and Jake Wing were the next Tigers to cross the finish line, placing 24th and 30th, respectively, helping the Tigers to a fourth place team finish. On October 3, the team travelled to Quebec City for the AUS-RESQ Interlock meet hosted by Laval. The Tigers would again finish fourth as a team with McNeil, Nick Wood and Russell as the top finishing Tigers.
McNeil’s success didn’t stop there as he went on to set an AUS championship course record on his way to winning gold. He was the AUS MVP and an AUS all-star. He ran to a seventh place finish at the CIS championship, earning CIS first team all-Canadian honours. To cap off the year, McNeil was named to the FISU team that represented Canada on March 12 in Cassino, Italy. He placed 35th in the race and was the third Canadian to cross the line, helping Canada to an eighth place team finish.
|AUS Award Winners||CIS Award Winners|
|Matt McNeil: AUS Athlete of the Year & All-Star
||Matt McNeil: First Team All-Canadian|