REDS Reach Program Milestone

Isaac Cull runs in last weekend's Vigars and Salters Invitational cross country meet, in London, Ontario. (PHOTO: Barry Fields/for Western Mustangs Athletics)
Isaac Cull runs in last weekend's Vigars and Salters Invitational cross country meet, in London, Ontario. (PHOTO: Barry Fields/for Western Mustangs Athletics)

(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB REDS men’s cross country team is celebrating a program milestone.

When the most recent U SPORTS Top 10 list was released, the REDS were on it… for the first time in program history.

“It’s a nice step for our program,” said Chris Belof, head coach of UNB’s cross country and track & field teams. “It’s something we’ve been working towards and I’m excited that our men’s group is being acknowledged for their hard work.”

The REDS were ranked No. 6 in the U SPORTS Top 10 for the week of September 24-30.

“This season and the culture around this program have certainly been something we’ve been building toward since my arrival here,” said Belof. “Our ranking speaks to the support and value that UNB has for cross country, along with the growth of cross country in Atlantic University Sport.”

The REDS surge into the national rankings came on the heels of their impressive fourth place finish in the team standings at the Vigars and Salter Invitational, hosted by Western University, in London, Ontario, last weekend.

Jared Howse led the REDS contingent in London with a run to third place in a field that featured top runners from all four U SPORTS conferences. William Boyle and Mitchell Kean also posted top 30 finishes for UNB.

On the same day, UNB’s Benjamin Perrett ran to a fifth place finish at the Acadia Invitational, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

“As a veteran, who came in the same year as Chris took over, I’m extremely proud of how far the program has come,” said Isaac Cull, who ran 36th at the London meet. “I’m grateful for the previous and current student-athletes who’ve played a role in furthering this program.”

Cull, an AUS All-Star in 2018 and 2019, is running his fifth and final year of eligibility in 2023.

“I think the team is extremely proud of the culture we have created within our cross country group over the past six years,” he said. “Being ranked nationally for the first time showcases all the hard work we’ve done.”

“We’re pleased with the ranking, but still have a lot of work to do as we build toward the championship part of our season,” said Coach Belof.

Up next for the REDS, their home meet.

The REDS will host AUS and RSEQ competition in the UNB Invitational on October 7th.

The event will take place at Kingswood and will feature an eight kilometre women’s race, at 12:00pm, and an eight kilometre men’s race, at 1:00pm.

“The guys are excited for the remainder of the season,” said Cull. “If we just focus on ourselves and trust each other and our training, we should be in a good spot leading up to the conference and national championships.”

The 2023 AUS Cross Country Championships take place October 28th, in Halifax.

The 2023 U SPORTS Cross Country Championships will be held on November 11th, in London.

 

STORY BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics

PHOTO BY: Barry Fields/for Western Mustangs Athletics