The Huskies women's cross country program has an impressive track record of sending student-athletes to the CCAA national championship, but 2017 stands out as it marks the first time since 2011 that the entire team will compete with Canada's best.
Led by first-year coach and former Olympian Nelson Njeru, the Huskies put an exclamation mark on what has been an excellent season with a third-place, bronze medal-winning performance at the provincial championship two weeks ago. It was the eighth provincial team medal in program history, and fourth since 2008.
"We are very optimistic heading into this weekend," said Njeru, who has also won provincial and national medals as a George Brown student-athlete. "We have very strong contenders, particularly our top two women who are looking very good and ready for the challenge."
The two runners he is referring to are Jenna Freeman and Angelee Weathers, both of whom are having standout seasons. Freeman has been particularly impressive, with top-eight finishes in four of the five races she has entered, including an eighth-place finish at provincials that assured her a spot as an OCAA All-Star. She finishes third overall at the season-opening Fanshawe Invitational, and hasn't looked back since.
Second-year Husky Angelee Weathers will be closing her second consecutive impressive season, and she now has seven top-35 finishes over the past two seasons. Weathers finished 28th at provincials and 13th overall at Fanshawe.
"We have trained extremely well, done a lot of speedwork, and they have stuck to the base training," added Njeru. "The only thing remaining is to challenge ourselves and do the best that we can. We believe that we are going to do very well."
Rounding out the roster are Pan Am Games athlete Loreto Gajardo, Marisa Lazo and Katie Holman. All three have been key contributors throughout the season.
Women's race begins at 11am on Saturday morning, follow @GBC_Huskies for updates throughout.