Men's Cross Country

SPARTANS MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM AIMS FOR NEW HEIGHTS IN 2015

SPARTANS MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM AIMS FOR NEW HEIGHTS IN 2015

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s cross country team has its sights set on achieving program history this year. With a veteran group returning and a few key recruits brought into the fold, this year’s team is unquestionably the best the Spartans have ever produced and, entering the season, expectations are loftier than ever before.

With the season-opening CIS Top 10 rolling out on Tuesday, the Spartans have already made history, as their No. 5 ranking has them as high in the polls as they’ve ever been. Now, the task for TWU is to live up to those expectations and move into the country’s upper echelon.
 
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
 
2014 Canada West Result: 2nd  
2014 CIS Result: 7th

Last CW Title/Total CW Titles: NA/0
Last CIS Title/Total CIS Titles: NA/0
 
Number of New Players: 5
Key Recruits: Deon Clifford (White Rock, B.C./Florida A&M), Nick Colyn (Langley, B.C./Langley Christian)
 
Number of departing players: 1
Key Losses: Mihai Prajea

Key Performer
Declan White: White has the capability to run with and beat some of the very best in the CIS. At last year’s national championships, the now third-year White took an early lead and tried to pull away, but was eventually reeled in and finished 17th overall. This year, he’ll be looking to be the Spartans lead runner.
 
Season Storylines
•    This is the year the TWU men’s cross country team is hoping to catch up to the Spartans women’s team in terms of both conference and national success. The Spartans women have led the way since Day 1 of the program’s 2010 reincarnation and has been the side winning conference championships and CIS medals. This year, the expectations for the men’s team are higher than they have ever been and there’s good reason to believe this is the year the men’s team will be a serious threat at the national championships.

•    Other than Mihai Prajea, who graduated this past spring and was TWU’s fourth best finisher at last year’s nationals, the Spartans have everyone back. With the likes of Joel De Schiffart (9th at last year’s CIS championships), Declan White (17th) and Blair Johnston (35th) amongst the returning leaders, the Spartans are in very good shape to take the next step forward.

•    Last year, the team finished second in the conference and seventh nationally. One has to believe this year’s group is going to be even better in almost every regard. De Schiffart is likely to continue to progress. White, whose gutsy strategy at last year’s nationals didn’t quite pan out, is destined for a better result this year. Johnston is likely to continue to get back into form. And Caleb de Jong is only going to be better and more experienced after summer of steeplechasing that saw him finish fourth at the Pan American Junior Championships.  

•    The addition of Deon Clifford can’t be understated. Clifford rounds out the Spartans top five and gives TWU another star on the men’s side. The steeplechaser, who competed in both the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships and the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships, transferred to TWU after spending time at Florida A&M. He will have an instant impact on the team and will help make the Spartans a legitimate contender.  

-TW-

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