By Keaton Robbins
The Humber women’s and men’s cross country teams captured bronze medals at the CCAA National Championship at Champlain College in Quebec.
The women were led by Darian Limb, who finished 21st overall in the five-kilometre face with a time of 20:18.
The Hawks women’s team was looking to retain its national title, after winning last year, but Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan and Quebec’s Ste. Foy finished ahead of the Hawks.
The men were led by Andrew Cruickshank, who finished 12th overall, and was named to the CCAA’s second all-star team.
Jesse Bruce, the men’s captain, said the team followed through on its goal of getting a medal at nationals.
“The course was crazy, because it started off so narrow and had so many hills,” Bruce, a third year business management student told Humber News.
The men’s team had to endure some pain, as one of Humber’s runners, Nick Smith, fell at the start of the race and cut his legs. Smith completed the race, and was taken to the hospital.
Nat Green, one of Humber’s top runners also had to run through some pain.
“Nat was dealing with some major cramps in his ribs in the last three kilometres, so he didn’t finish as high as he should have” Bruce said.
Hawks coach Monique Haan told Humber News she’s proud of the team’s results.
“Many people expected the women to finish at the top after winning it last year, but we were missing Vicky Siemon, who graduated,” Haan said. Siemon was the 2011-2012 OCAA female athlete of the year.
“There’s no shame in third, we put forward one of the best teams we’ve had in a while,” said Haan.
Haan said although Humber didn’t have any standout runner this year, she was impressed at the depth of her teams.
Men’s runner, Darren Mancini said he’s honored to be part of the first Humber men’s cross country team to win a medal at Nationals.
“This bronze will hopefully make it clear to other teams that we’re trying to build a dynasty,” Mancini said. “I was looking at my medal again last night, and it still really hasn’t sunk in that I won it and that we came third in Canada.”
Humber will look to build off this momentum as they host CCAA cross country Nationals next year.