– Athletics Canada

OTTAWA – The Canadian Cross Country team is heading to Mandeville, Jamaica for the 2013 North America, Central America and Carribean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships taking place this Saturday January 26.  The Canadian team will be represented in all four races; Men’s senior 8km, Women’s senior 6km, Men’s junior 6km and Women’s junior 4km.  Click here for the full team list.

Leading the way in Jamaica is arguably the best NACAC Canadian Cross Country team comprised of Simon Bairu, Lucas Bruchet, Cameron Levins, Mathew Walters, Kelly Wiebe and Chris Winter.

Simon Bairu understands his role on this team which holds so much potential.  “I’m looking forward to contributing to the team at the NACAC Championships and Worlds,” said the Regina athlete who holds one of Canada’s best ever individual placings at a World Cross Country Championship.  He adds, “This team has the potential to really accomplish something special at Worlds and I intend to do my part by aiming to equal or better my 2010 performance of a 12th place finish.”

Last season Cameron Levins of Black Creek, B.C., made quite the splash on the international running scene.  An eleventh place finish at the Olympic Games and the title of men’s top NCAA track and field athlete (Bowerman Award) can easily overshadow his other accomplishments like his gold medal from the 2012 NACAC Cross Country Championship.  “It’s exciting to be a part of such a quality cross country team. I’m a far more confident athlete since competing at the Olympics,” said Levins.  “I hope to gain valuable experience and learn from an athlete like Simon Bairu as we chase a team victory at NACAC, and then prepare for the World Cross Country Championships.”

Regina, Sask.’s Kelly Wiebe made quite the splash at the tail end of the 2012 cross country season and he’s now excited to be racing amongst great Canadian talent. “Coming into 2013 I have never been so motivated and excited to run and exceed expectations. This is partly due to my successes from 2012, but it is also due to the great Canadian contingent we have going into NACAC and the World Championships.”  Wiebe adds, ” I am physically and mentally prepared to go to another level with my running, and hopefully that means I can contribute to one of the best, if not the best Canadian cross country team in history.”

Senior men team and individual placings at the NACAC Cross Country Championships

Year       Team Placing      Top Finisher
2012       2nd                          1st Cameron Levins, 24:04
2011       2nd                           2nd Cameron Levins, 23:45
2009       2nd                           2nd Dylan Wykes, 23:30
2008       2nd                           3rd Dylan Wykes, 22:57
2007       3rd                           12th Derek Nakluski, 26:08
2006       5th                           12th Steve Osaduik, 26:49

Follow all the Canadian action from the 2013 NACAC Cross Country Championships on Twitter (@athleticscanada) and Facebook (CanadaTrackandField).