EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas cross country teams returned from Saskatoon with a pair of top two finishes as the Pandas won the 2016 Huskies Open, while the Bears finished second at the annual meet hosted by the University of Saskatchewan.
Led by fifth-year runner and graduate student Nicole Soderberg
, the Pandas took the top spot in the women’s race, finishing with 33 points and average time of 23.70. The Pandas defeated second place Saskatchewan and third place Calgary, as well as Manitoba, MacEwan and sixth place Regina at the event. Alberta had a total of seven racers finish inside the top 11 with Danae Keddie (7th), Anushree Patel (8th), Caitlin Vail (9th), Freya Hik (10th) and Lesley Koopman (11th) all recorded strong races for the Evergreen and Gold.
On the men’s side, the Golden Bears finished second overall, trailing the Calgary Dinos, with a total time of 2:13.68 and an average time of 26.74. The Bears finished one point ahead of Regina, while also beating out fourth place Manitoba, sixth place Saskatchewan and seventh place MacEwan. Kieran McDonald was Alberta’s top finisher on the men’s side, as he crossed the finish line in third place with a time of 25.52. Royden Radowits (7th), Noan Arychuk (18th) ad Mark Lawley (19th) were the Bears other finishers inside the top 20.
The Bears and Pandas cross country teams will next race in the Stewart Cup, which is scheduled for October 29 in Calgary. Following that, the Canada West and CIS championship races will be held November 12 and hosted by Laval University.