On a gorgeous day in Wolfville, NS, the V-Reds men's cross country team took part in the first event of the 2014 AUS Cross Country season hosted by Acadia University. With athletes from all eight teams in the AUS represented (StFX, Dalhousie, Acadia, Memorial, St.Mary's, UdeM, STU, and UNB) it was a great opportunity to see what is in store for the AUS conference and the Varsity Reds.
First year Joshua Shanks while not feeling 100% still managed to be the team's top finisher in 13th position and the 2nd first year finisher in the AUS. Captain Taylor Lamarche finished in 17th place overall and second for team. Next up were Chris McNamara in 21st, Jonathan Bunn in 24th, Clayton Holteen 26th, Colby Craig 32nd, and Michael Yitayew in 40th.
The team ran as a group for the beginning of the race and were able support each other with a pack mentality allowing them to finish 3rd in the team competition - their highest score in years against all AUS schools. StFX won the event with Dalhousie finishing second. Also of note was that in last year's season opener the top 5 UNB men averaged a time of 29:25 while this year's squad averaged a time of 27:57, a significant improvement showing how much work this team has put in during the off-season.
Veteran Coach Tim Randall noted that while the men's team ran well there were a few minor glitches today that need to be improved upon. However, he is extremely confident that this team has lots more in the tank.
Joshua Shanks 13th 27:21
Taylor Lamarche 17th 27:37
Chris McNamara 21st 28:10
Jonathan Bunn 24th 28:17
Clayton Holteen 26th 28:21
Colby Craig 32nd 29:31
Michael Yitayew 40th 30:46
Next up for the VREDS will be their co-hosted home meet with Saint Thomas University on Saturday September 20th. The 8000m race will take place at Odell park starting at 12:45pm. The team will be looking to use their regular practice location to their advantage as they look to improve on their third place finish in front of a supportive crowd. Your VREDS encourage you to come out and support the team at their only event in Fredericton. Wear your red and support your Varsity Reds!