Athletics Canada announced Thursday the team that will be representing the nation at the 2017 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships. Qualifying athletes earned a spot on the team by virtue of a top-10 placing at the national cross-country championships in Kingston, Ont. on Nov. 26.
The junior and senior teams will all have six athletes for the Kampala, Uganda championships on March 26, 2017. Athletes became eligible for the team by placing in the top-10 in their category at nationals with the top six athletes who declared being added to the team.
The team list for the Pan Am Cross-Country Cup was also released Thursday. That event will be held on March 4, 2017 in Boca Raton, Fla. with countries from the Pan American region contesting for the championship. The world cross-country championships are held every two years.
Canada’s team for the 2017 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships
Notable athletes who opted out from the team include the Olympians who contested the national cross-country championships including Luc Bruchet and Matt Hughes. Ross Proudfoot, the senior men’s 10K champion, chose not to declare for the team as he will be focusing on track in the spring in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 world track and field championships. The tenth-place finisher in the race, Thomas Toth, was able to qualify for the world cross-country team as the three aforementioned athletes declined their spot and an American Andy Wacker, who was eighth at nationals, was not eligible.
The senior women’s 10K champion at nationals, Sasha Gollish, headlines Canada’s team. Second-place finisher at nationals, Rachel Cliff, declined the spot with the final spot on the team going to eighth-place finisher at nationals, Lisa Brooking.
The junior teams will also have a strong contingent of athletes travelling to East Africa in the spring. Canadian junior 6K champion Hannah Bennison and runner-up Brogan MacDougall both accepted the team’s invitations. All said, five of the top seven athletes from nationals will be on the team.
On the junior men’s team, Ehab El-Sandali, the 2016 Canadian junior champion, is not eligible as he was an “over-age” athlete at nationals. Because the championships are in 2017, only junior athletes born in 1998, 1999 or 2000 can qualify for Team Canada.
Both of Canada’s teams for worlds and the Pan Am Cross-Country Cup are identical though that has historically not been the case. Certain athletes may opt out of either championships because it is believed to interfere with an athlete’s training schedule in the early parts of the spring.