As the 2014 season dawns, the Wolves women’s and men’s x-country teams appear to be going in different directions.
Fresh off a bronze medal performance at the 2013 ACAC Championships, the women’s team looks strong as it returns three of its top five runners from last year. 2013 ACAC Silver medalist and 2013-14 GPRC Athlete of the Year Jamie Wigmore is back along with fourth year runners Kirstin Manz and Amanda Patteson. In addition, Jackie Benning, who played a key role on the 2010 and 2011 XC Wolves, returns for another season.
The veteran women’s squad will be bolstered by the addition of Mirelle Martens, Alberta’s 2014 top high school distance running prospect.. Martens is the reigning Alberta High School champion in both xc running and the 3000m on the track. She will be doing double duty this fall, playing for the soccer Wolves as well as running cross country.
The women’s team ended up ranked 6th in the CCAA last year and will definitely be looking to move up this year.
The Wolves men’s are in rebuilding mode. They lose 2013-14 GPRC Athlete of the Year Hayden Hollowell, who has moved on to the University of Saskatchewan, along with three others from the 2013 starting six. Riley Wallace, an ACAC All Conference runner from last season, will lead the team, as he splits his time between xc running and Wolves basketball. Ian Keefe and Gaurav Rawat are the other key returners for the men.
Josh Malmstem,,who ran 3 years at the GP Comp, is the top recruit on the men’s side.
In 2013, the Wolves men placed 4th in the ACAC. The team ended up 14th at the CCCA championship.
As always, ACAC cross country should be highly competitive in 2014. On the women’s side, the usually suspects, SAIT and Lethbridge, look to be strong. Also, NAIT, Concordia, and the Wolves will contend. The battle for the top 3 teams will be intense.
The men’s side should be more open. Lethbridge is perennially strong, and Concordia should move up in the rankings in 2014. It remains to be seen which other teams will vie for the final podium spot.
The Wolves open their ACAC season on September 13 by hosting the Steve Burgess Memorial at the Wapiti Nordic Trails. A full team of Wolves also will take part in ACAC #2 in Ft. McMurray on September 20. The team is also slated to run in ACAC #3 in Calgary on October 4.
When not on the road, the team will host and compete in a number of Wolves Cross Country Running Series events in Grande Prairie and other Peace Country venues.
On October 27, the Wolves will contest the 2014 ACAC Championships in Ft. McMurray. Two weeks later, the team will travel to Calgary to participate in this year’s CCAA National Championships.
After a highly successful first official season, ACAC Indoor track returns for Season 2 in 2014-15. After November the Cross Country Wolves will transition to training for the shorter indoor distances. The team will travel to two indoor meet meets in early 2015 and then contest the ACAC Indoor Championship in early March. Triple ACAC indoor track gold medalist Jamie Wigmore (400, 800, 1500) will seek to defend her titles in 2015.
The coaching duo of Rick Scott and Bill Corcoran are back to guide the team. 2014 marks Corcoran’s 24th year with the Wolves, while Scott enters his 23rd year with the team.