On September 21st, 2011, just three days out from The Western International Cross Country Meet I had the pleasure of chatting with The University of Guelph Gryphons Head Cross Country Coach, Dave Scott Thomas, better known as DST. We spent the majority of the time chatting about which athletes will be leading The Gryphons and the main objective for the 2011 campaign.
It is no secret that DST has created a powerhouse in the Gryphons, but the big question is, how?
It is imperative to note that DST is humble, honest, and willing to do just about anything to promote our sport. Two thumbs up from The Runners Feed Team.
When asked to share a goal for the 2011 campaign, DST did not skip a beat when he said ‘double again at CI’s (Canadian National Championships). Furthermore, he mentioned “anything less would be sandbagging”. That being said, DST has a tremendous amount of respect for all programs and coaches in the CIS. He specifically mentioned the Lancer/Gryphon duel, and how it is arguably one of the best rivalries in Canadian university sport. It is evident in DST’s voice that he welcomes the challenge posed by teams such as The Lancers.
DST credits tradition in helping the program thrive especially after a year such as last when they graduated several key members of their team.
This Saturday, September 21st, DST and The Gryphons will take on the best Canada has to offer at The Western International in London, Ontario. According to DST, he continues to bring his squads here year after year because “the meet is very well organized” and as a result, “everyone shows up”. First hand experience tells me that his staff may also enjoy the golf carts provided to all coaches.
There is certainly a rich tradition at The Western International and one of DST’s athletes is looking to add to that. Ross Proudfoot won in a very respectable time of 31:50 on The Thames Valley Golf Course last year. DST was not hesitant in stating that Proudfoot is looking to repeat. He revealed that a few members of the men’s squad are a “little under the weather”, nevertheless, the team takes pride in competing to the best of their ability on any given day.
The women are led by the young dynamic duo of Ciara Kary and Emily Driedger. These girls resumes speak for themselves and will be looking for a bit of redemption on Saturday morning after losing by a mere four points at The Western International last year. The Gryphon women will be a force to reckon with on Saturday.
If you want to know how Guelph got both teams on top of the podium last November, all you have to do is ask. DST is a self-proclaimed open book. His teams “work hard and task risks” while subscribing to an “attitude of believing there is no limit to what they can do”. They “pay attention to detail” with the help of “a great support team” including medical personnel and a surplus of post-collegiate athletes.
Those post-collegiate athletes are not forgotten however. In conjunction with a jam-packed season, you will also find DST’s collegiate squads in Toronto on October 16th, 2011 as they support the post collegiate athletes at The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Best of luck to The Gryphons on Saturday.
About The Western International Cross Country Invitational
The Western International Cross Country Invitational is one of North America’s most prestigious cross country races. The 37th edition is set to take place at the Thames Valley Golf Course in London, Ontario, Canada this Saturday, September 24th.
Runners Feed Ltd. is a proud sponsor of the 2011 Western International Cross Country Invitational. Visit our booth to purchase a limited edition Runners Feed t-shirt, and grab a free Vitamin Water while you’re at it!
9:00 AM Alumni/Alumnae 5 KM
10:00 AM Women’s 5 KM
10:50 AM Men’s 10 KM
11:45 AM Award Ceremony
About the Author:
Brandon Laan is a runner, coach, and entrepreneur. He spent his undergraduate days at The University of Western Ontario where he captained the Cross Country Team before fleeing to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school. He is a Level II Certified USATF coach and holds personal bests of 1:06 and 2:21 in the Half Marathon and Marathon respectively. He also enjoys running to eat, not eating to run…and always will.