Vikes cross-country heads to Western Washington Classic with confidence

Vikes Communications

The Vikes men's and women's cross-country team will head back across the border to compete in the 43rd annual Western Washington Classic. The races will be run in Bellingham on October 8.

Both the men and the women got their season off to a flying start last weekend and will be looking to use the confidence boost they gained from that race to give them momentum heading into this one.

This weekend will be the first chance for the Vikes to begin to measure how they stack up against teams in their conference. Attending this event will be not only NCAA and NAIA schools but also Trinity Western.

The Vikes men finished second at the Charles Bowles Invitational and are ranked third in the nation in the latest CIS cross-country top 10.

The Vikes women's fourth-place finish moved their ranking up to number six in the nation.

About the Event

This will be the sixth year in a row that the Vikes make the journey to Bellingham to compete in the Western Washington Classic.

Last year the Vikes men finished fourth at the event, while the Vikes women finished fifth.

Both teams will run longer distances than they did in the opening race of the season last weekend. The men will run a 10km race, while the women will run 8 km.

Vikes head coach Brent Fougner knows that his veterans will be fine with the added distance but he will be keeping a close eye on his rookie runners.

"This will be different for the guys this weekend, because in high school they were used to running six km races, so the eight km was already a big jump for them. We are really going to be cautious with them and get that experience under their belt," said Fougner.

Fougner has been very impressed with the performance of the younger runners on the team so far this season and will be looking for that to continue into this race.

"The women are only doing one km more this weekend so they should be more comfortable. I'm expecting the rookies on the women's side to step it up quite a bit this weekend. They just gained so much confidence from that first race," said Fougner.

Scouting the Course

"We run around Lake Padden, which is about five km around the lake. The women do that once plus some extra and then the men will do it twice. It has a reasonable hill on the back-side but the footing is very good and it's a great course. It's a beautiful park to run in," said Fougner.

Coach's Take
Brent Fougner, Vikes head coach
"Chet (Goerzen) is a workhorse that is also smart enough that he really controls how much he does. Even in the first practice he was right up there with the veterans, and he looked comfortable there."

"The strategy in our first race was to make sure that we were looking ahead to this next race. We built through the race, almost everyone on the team had a negative split, so that gives us a better gauge as to how we are going to pace ourselves through this next race. The type of training that we are doing right now  really sets us up well not only for this weekend, but for three weekends from now when we are at the B.C. championships."

Player Perspective
Chet Goerzen, first-year Vike
"I know what we need to work on based off the past weekend. I've never ran a 10km before, so it should be interesting, definitely a little bit of a jump up. I just have to focus on running smart and not going out too hard."

Women's Cross Country – Travelling Roster
Laurel Booker
Rachel Francois
Julia Greer
Chloe Hegland
Chloe Hewitt
Brittany King
Gemma Moran
Alyssa Mousseau
Elena Savidge
Andie Wood

Men's Cross Country – Travelling Roster
Jacob Benson
Derrick Evans
Sterling Ginther
Chet Goerzen
Brendan Hoff
Josh Kozelj
Kieran L'Abbe
Alexander Nemethy
Matt Noseworthy
Thomas Oxland
Isaac Penner
Cole Peterson
Ian Searle
Tyler Smith
Cody Therrien
Jonathan Toombs

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