Doug Spicer took over as the RDP cross-country/ Indoor track coach this summer. (Photo submitted by Red Deer Polytechnic)

Doug Spicer took over as the RDP cross-country/ Indoor track coach this summer. (Photo submitted by Red Deer Polytechnic)

RDP cross-country team looking to build off success with new coach

The season begins on Sept. 10

With just three weeks remaining until the cross-country season begins for Red Deer Polytechnic, the team is nearly assembled.

Doug Spicer, who was hired as the new head coach of the cross country and indoor track team this summer, said there are still a couple of roster spots that are not definite but for the most part are set for the upcoming season.

“Kari did a really good job of recruiting and had lots of success so that tends to bring people back,” he said.

Spicer is replacing Kari Elliott who was the coach of the cross country team for many years. He hopes to continue the success and continue to win this upcoming season.

“I don’t see why not at all. I’ve only spent a short time around the athletes so far but from what I’ve seen they’re very highly motivated and I think there’s some good talent there. Our assistant coaches are very keen and just looking forward to a successful season,” he said.

“As Kari mentioned in her interviews at the end of last season most of her team at that time was quite young. Lots of first years and what not, so you’d expect with another year under their belts that they’d be a little bit stronger, more used to the grind of moving up to the college level from high school. I expect good things from them.”

Last season the team had 10 first years including Myah Cota, Ethan Duret, Kevin Edmondson, Wyatt Grainger, Daniel Humbke, Justine Larson, Kammy Park, Halle Reed, Jenica Swartz, and Jayden Wildcat. The second and third-year players were Axsivier Lawrence, Lauren Pasiuk, Devin Saunders, and Daniel Szucs.

The first Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Grand Prix will begin on Sept. 10 for the team at Medicine Hat College. Spicer said the competitions continue every second week after that until the nationals on Nov. 11 and 12.

Spicer said the team is training either on their own or as a team as often as they can before training camp at the end of the month.

“Both the Kings and the Queens were top three in the ACAC last season so I’m hoping we can repeat top three performances again. Where exactly from there, well we’ll see how the season goes but I’m quite hopeful we’ll be near the top of the ACAC again at least,” he said.

Spicer retired from being a teacher at Hunting Hills High School three years ago and was approached to see if he’d be interested in the job. After considering it he thought it would be a fun opportunity and applied for the position.

Spicer moved to Red Deer in 1992 from Saskatchewan and while at Hunting Hills he coached their track team from when the school opened in 1994 and during that time he also coached the Red Deer Titans Track Club.

“The part I’m most looking forward to is learning and understanding the college system. Working with the athletes I’ll get a big charge out of that and just getting used to the whole system and the people and having fun.”

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