BLAINVILLE, QB - Veronika Fagan crosses the finish line first at the 2017 CCAA Cross-Country Running National Championships in Blainville, QC. On Saturday afternoon. Fagan ran the 6k course in 21:42 and on the back of her efforts the Heat women's cross country team finished with a national bronze medal.
With a strong start Fagan set the pace off the gun and was out in front the whole race with de Bérubé, a racer from the home school of Collège Lionel-Groulx Nordiques on her heels for almost three quarters of the race, the last kilometre Fagan built a gap and was on her own to the finish line.
Thought's from Veronika Fagan on the finish
"Coming into the home stretch was a bizarre feeling because I have never won a big race like this before in my life. I felt like I chose the right university with the most amazing coaches, team and family supporting me through each race. I feel very fortunate for how my past 3 years have played out at UBCO."
Rest of the field
Fagan would finish the race of 130 women 14-seconds ahead of Bérubé and nearly 20 seconds ahead on the third place finisher Sophia Nowiki from the Lethbridge College Kodiaks. Not only is the third year Nursing student from West Kelowna an individual national champion she is also awarded a CCAA All-Canadian.
Heat women's team
The next finisher for the UBCO women's team was Camille Galloway, the Nursing student and former varsity soccer player finished 12th amongst the field at a time of 23:08. Julianna Neudorf and Alex Beswick were the other two scoring racers for the Heat finishing just 9 seconds apart (23:57 & 24:06) but five spots apart. Neudorf placed 25th and Beswick 30th.
With those four scores the Heat totaled 68, the host school won the team competition with 45 points while SAIT captured the Silver with 47 points. SAIT featured Alea Stockton, a gold medalist last year with UBC Okanagan.
First year coach John Machuga had a simple but effective strategy lined up for his top runner – go for the win or make them earn it.
"I am very good at preparing and visualizing my race before it happens. I was running to win today. Very early on in season this was my goal and I felt I worked very hard to accomplish it this weekend."
Fagan's thoughts as she was crossing the finish line with the knowledge that she was going to be the individual winner a national championship
"Obviously I was nervous but I was also excited! The pacer on the bike was cheering for the girl I was running against the whole time along with basically everyone else because it was her home town."
"This didn't seem to psych me out at all. In fact every-time I heard my name, I could also hear the encouraging words of everyone cheering for me."
Fagan's thought on her team
"Everyone finished strongly with a positive mindset. I am very happy with the results from each and every one of the ladies this season. We came to nationals with a few variables but everyone pulled through and as a result we got a bronze medal."
"Also, thanks to our coaches John, Mac and Delilah for their hard work, dedication and believing in us. We couldn't be here as fit as we are without them. Without them we wouldn't have a team!"
"Also thanks to our trainer Tavia for all her hard work keeping us healthy or healing us through the season!"
Bib | Name | Time | Place
Scoring for UBCO
345 | Fagan, Veronika | 21:42.2 | 1
346 | Galloway, Camille | 23:08.0 | 12
348 | Neudorf, Julianna | 23:56.7 | 25
344 | Beswick, Alex | 24:05.5 | 30
349 | Storey, Josie | 24:24.0 | 44
347 | Garrett, Rachel | 25:21.3 | 78
UBC Okanagan's finishes at the CCAA national cross country championships (M | W)
2017 (10th | 3rd) @ Collège Lionel-Groulx, Equestrian Park, Blainville, QB | LINK |
2016 (12th | 1st) @ Sault College, Crimson Ridge Course, Sault Ste. Marie, ON | LINK |
2015 (10th | 2nd) @ St. Lawrence College, Memorial Park, Brockville, ON | LINK |
2014 (7th | 5th) @ SAIT, Confederation Park, Calgary, AB | LINK |
2013 (10th | 1st) @ Humber College, Humber Arboretum, Etobicoke, ON. | LINK |
2012 (10th | 4th) @ Ste. Lambert, Parc Michel-Chartrand in Longueuil, QB | LINK |
2011 (13th | 13th) @ Thompson Rivers, MacArthur Island Park, Kamloops, BC | LINK |
Top individual finishes (Top 20) at national championships - Heat women
2017 6K: Veronika Fagan (1st, 21:42), Camille Galloway (12th, 23:08)
2016 5K: Veronika Fagan (4th, 18:49), Camille Galloway (15th, 19:43), Josie Storey (20th, 20:11)
2015 5K: Veronika Fagan (19th, 20:06)
2014 5K: Michelle Blackburne (14th, 20:30)
2013 5K: Sandra Kilmartin (4th, 19:18), Michelle Blackburne (11th, 20:13)
2012 5K: Michelle Blackburne (16th, 20:04)
2011 5k: None