Redeemer’s women’s x-country team earns national ranking

The Lady Royals women’s cross country team has gotten off to a terrific start to the 2012 season and is being rewarded. In the latest release of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s national rankings, the women’s team has been given the No. 13 spot.

From left to right, Adrianna So, Jillian Marquardt, Julie Koopmans, Gina VanHaren, Tracey Ubbens, and Danica Thomsen competed at the recent Seneca Invitational. (Photo: Redeemer University College)

The team followed its third place finish at the Fanshawe Invitational on Sept. 22 with a first place effort the following week at the Seneca Invitational. At Seneca, the women finished ahead of the two Ontario Colleges Athletic Association rivals ranked higher than them in the latest rankings. Those teams are the Humber Hawks (No.2) and the Fanshawe Falcons (No.8).

Teams members include Julie Koopmans, Jillian Marquardt, Adrianna So, Annie Stollery, Janae Vlaar-Philbrick, Gina Van Haren, Danica Thomsen, and Tracey Ubbens. Koopmans was recently named Athlete of the Month along with men’s team member Taylor Kraayenbrink.

Redeemer’s athletic director, Dave Mantel, said, “It’s fantastic when you anticipate that a team will do well, and then they deliver. We were excited about the team coming into the season as a result of the work that Jeff (Summerhays), our cross country coach, did in the off season to attract some great runners”.

What is impressive is that out of the top four runners who have scored as a team for Redeemer in the last two races, three are rookies at Redeemer and the other is in her second year.

With the early success, the Royals are now a legitimate contender for a medal at the OCAA championship at the end of October.