|The Laurentian Voyageurs track team has more than doubled
in size, and hopes are high for the upcoming season.
The Voyageurs women's cross-country team is coming off
its best season ever and returns the core of that crew,
and there's even more for local track fans to celebrate
with the addition of a men's cross-country team and a
group of sprinters that will compete under the Voyageurs
banner this season.
“The season is setting up pretty good," head
coach Dick Moss said. "We lost Emily Marcolini and
Emily Driedger from our top seven, so that could hurt
us a bit, but Katie Wismer is back since she got into
medical school and she has been training hard, and everybody
else will hopefully be back from our top seven."
That returning crew is Wismer, Marissa Lobert, Maddy
Bak, Samantha Edwards and Michelle Kennedy, who, along
with Marcolini and Driedger, combined for a record-breaking
cross-country season last year, with a slew of team and
individual bests, as well as cracking the Top 10 CIS ranking
for the first time in school history. Marcolini, Wismer
and Kennedy led the way for the Voyageurs throughout last
season, which included a sixth-place finish at the OUA
Championships and an 11th place finish at the CIS Championships.
The indoor track team followed that with an eighth-place
finish at the OUA Championships and finished the season
with two school records, two top-eight performances and
four personal bests.
"It was a lot of fun and the girls deserve it, they
worked hard and it is nice to see the ones who have been
with us longest have improved the most, and it's rewarding
to see that," Moss said.
The women's cross-country team has added eight rookies
for this season, including Nicole Hessels, who finished
15th at OFSAA cross-country last spring and also finished
10th in the 3 km, and Jessie Nusselder, who was 28th at
"Those are a couple of good rookies," Moss
said. "Hessels is one of the highest-ranked OFSAA
runners we have had and a good 3k runner as well, and
Jessie is a great addition. They fill out the roster quite
With the addition of a men's cross-country team and a
sprint team, the LU track team has swelled to 52 athletes
for the upcoming season with 26 on the women's cross-country
team and 17 on the men's team, along with 10 sprinters.
"We're starting with scratch for the men's team,"
Moss said. "That program was cut in 2000, and we
have been given a mandate to get it going again and have
17 signed up for the team. Some are in school already
and some are incoming, nobody super high profile yet,
but we have a pretty good core in terms of numbers.
"Just the number of guys who are showing interest
in the program is encouraging, and once the word gets
out provincially that we’re back, along with the
womens' success going around on message boards, we're
hoping that in next two or three years, we'll draw some
top runners to the Laurentian."
The new sprint team includes locals from Track North
like Danielle Roy, the NOSSA 100-metre champ, Natashea
Mayer, the NOSSA 200-metre champ, Jennie Philipow, who
was fifth at NOSSA, and possibly NOSSA 100-metre champ
With so many athletes, Moss will split the coaching work
with assistant Darren Jermyn.
"My focus will be on the women and Darren on the
men," Moss said. "We always work together and
will continue that way, but we will specialize in practice,
though workouts will be together. There will be some differences
since the women race six km and the men 10, but a lot
of what we do, we will be able to do with teams combined.
We'll attend the same races for travel, etc."
Moss won't have to wait long to get a handle on his cross-country
team with the Sudbury Masters Continental Insulation Ramsey
Tour set to take place on the Laurentian trails on Sept.
"It’s perfect timing for us," Moss said.
" What it does is it gives us an idea who is fit
off summer training and we get some running pace times
to figure how fast we have to go in practices. It also
gives us a ranking for our traveling team, which is 12
for each team."
Sudbury Masters is hosting the race for the 39th straight
"Sudbury Masters puts the race on for us and we
help them out, but it is their race," Moss said.
"It serves a dual purpose for us because the Masters
donate proceeds from the race to our program, and we are
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