LETHBRIDGE - Lethbridge College Kodiaks rookie sensation Sophia Nowicki, a first year student taking General Studies, saved her best effort for the last race of the season as she earned a CCAA cross country bronze medal on Saturday (Nov. 11).
At the 2017 CCAA Cross Country National Championships in Blainville, Quebec, Nowicki competed against 130 athletes from over 20 colleges across Canada, and the Bragg Creek native finished in third place in the women's 6km run.
Nowicki had to race through the cool air of the Blainville Equestrian Park, but still posted a season-best time of 22:01 and finished nine seconds ahead of fellow ACAC competitor Jordanna Cota of Red Deer College who had gone undefeated in conference races this season.
Kodiaks Head Coach Bertil Johansson says it's a flatter course, so it was more suitable for a runner type like Nowicki.
"The course wasn't an issue because of the style of running we've been working on with her this year," Johansson said. "It was an amazing time, and the time Sophia achieved puts her up there with some of the all-time great Kodiaks performances in the last 15 years."
Nowicki was also named a CCAA all-Canadian, which capped an incredible season that included an ACAC bronze medal, an ACAC all-conference team berth and an ACAC rookie of the year award.
Her effort helped the Kodiaks women's team finish sixth overall in the team standings, improving on their seventh-place national ranking heading into the championships.
ACAC all-conference team member Emily Spencer (second year, Nursing) finished 16th overall with a time of 23:24, while Brooklyn Vogel (first year, Nursing) and Vildana Rekic (second year, Environmental Assessment and Restoration) rounded out the team scoring for the Kodiaks, finishing 48th and 53rd, respectively.
The Kodiaks cross country team has now earned either an individual or team medal in 13 of the past 15 CCAA national championships.
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