Tro­jans look to mine gold; Di­nos play­ing for bronze

SAIT men’s team favoured in CCAA cross-coun­try cham­pi­onship

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS -

MARKHAM, ONT. Bring on the snow, the mud, the hills and the flats.

It’s cross-coun­try run­ning at its finest, and Matthew Travaglini is ready for any­thing.

The SAIT Tro­jans men’s cross­coun­try run­ner will de­fend his Cana­dian Col­le­giate Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion na­tional ti­tle Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon amid the wet and cool con­di­tions at Seneca Col­lege’s King Cam­pus just out­side Toronto.

“It’s go­ing to be slip­pery, but we were talk­ing (Fri­day) about how we had snow in Oc­to­ber in Al­berta. Run­ning in cold, wet, muddy con­di­tions is not new to us,” said Travaglini, who won the CCAA in­di­vid­ual gold medal last year in Mon­treal. “When we saw snow through­out the sea­son, our coaches told us to em­brace train­ing in it be­cause na­tion­als are not go­ing to be pretty.

“As a group, we’re pretty tough, so we’re go­ing to be able to han­dle what­ever Toronto can throw at us.”

Fol­low­ing the team’s prac­tice run Fri­day, many of the run­ners de­cided to go shop­ping for longer spikes to put in their shoes. Travaglini, a for­mer moun­tain run­ning na­tional cham­pion, al­ready had some packed away for just such an oc­ca­sion.

He knows that be­cause of the con­di­tions, it won’t just be about the run­ning.

“That’s the beauty of cross-coun­try, it’s a grinder’s sport,” Travaglini said. “It’s phys­i­cal tough­ness and men­tal tough­ness that wins races, and I like to think I’m pretty men­tally strong.”

It’s not just him­self that he is run­ning for. At last year’s na­tion­als, his plac­ing helped the Tro­jans men’s team to its first-ever CCAA medal, a bronze.

This time around, he wants gold for both him and his team­mates — Jac­ques Saay­man, Daryl Ross, Brant Lauw­eryssen, Matthew He­bert and Jemmy Lee.

Saay­man was the CCAA bronze medal­list last year.

Be­cause of their com­bined ef­forts, the men’s team goes into the event as the favourite, ranked No. 1 in the coun­try by the CCAA. But Travaglini said liv­ing up to that rank­ing is what’s im­por­tant.

On the women’s side, the Tro­jans team did not qual­ify as a whole. In­stead, they have sent Em­i­lie Mann and Ann Da­nard to com­pete in­di­vid­u­ally.

Mann is com­ing off a sil­ver-medal fin­ish at the ACAC cham­pi­onships a few weeks back and placed ninth at this same event a year ago to earn a CCAA all-Cana­dian nod.

Da­nard fin­ished ninth at the ACAC cham­pi­onships and will race in her first na­tional cham­pi­onship event.

DI­NOS STAY ALIVE FOR SOC­CER BRONZE

In an ex­cit­ing sec­ond con­so­la­tion semi­fi­nal, the Cal­gary Di­nos pulled off an up­set over the de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pi­ons, de­feat­ing the Mon­treal Cara­bins 2-1 in penalty kicks on Fri­day af­ter­noon at the 2018 U Sports Women’s Soc­cer Cham­pi­onship.

Mon­treal de­fender Melissa Proulx opened the scor­ing on her team’s first shot, send­ing home a strike in the 23rd minute.

Af­ter re­lent­less pres­sure in Mon­treal’s end, the Di­nos evened the score on a lofty strike by de­fender Amy Mikuska in the 76th minute.

Mon­treal’s first shot was turned away by Di­nos star goal­keeper Lau­ren Houghton, which proved to be the dif­fer­ence-maker in the match. The Di­nos scored on each of their kicks to seal the 2-1 win in a thrilling match at Gee- Gees Field.

“Ob­vi­ously Mon­treal is a re­ally good team, so we knew we had to be up for it,” said Di­nos player-ofthe-game Jor­dan Smith. “I think we pushed and got a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties. We had an amaz­ing penalty kick save that kept us in the game and then we just kept grind­ing it out.”

“It is tough to bounce back af­ter the emo­tions of (Thurs­day) night (a 2-1 loss to the host Ot­tawa Gee- Gees) and have a short turn­around,” added Di­nos head coach Troye Flan­nery.

“Mon­treal, the de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pi­ons, are an ex­tremely good team, and we went toe-to­toe with them. I am proud of our team be­cause this win makes the tour­na­ment rel­e­vant for us again. We get to play an­other game on Sun­day.”

Up next, the Di­nos will move on to the con­so­la­tion fi­nal at the na­tion­als Sun­day, where they will take on the RSEQ-fi­nal­ist Laval Rouge et Or (8 a.m. MT).

JEAN LEVAC

Maya Ida of the Cal­gary Di­nos splits two Mon­treal Cara­bins de­fend­ers in a 2-1 US­ports con­so­la­tion semi­fi­nal win Fri­day in Ot­tawa.

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