Schaaf Repeats As Canadian Junior Champion
Nov. 30, 2008
GUELPH, Ontario - Less than a week removed from helping power Washington to the NCAA cross country title, freshman Kendra Schaaf was back in action on Saturday, successfully defending her Canadian Junior Cross Country Championship.
Schaaf, a native of Craven, Saskatchewan, placed 12th at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana last Monday, earning All-American honors as the Huskies won their first ever team title. She then headed for Ontario and the University of Guelph to run another 5,000 meters just five days later.
Facing freezing temperatures and a snow-covered course, Schaaf still went to the front from the start of the race and was never threatened, winning in a time of 17-minutes, 23-seconds. Lindsay Carson was second in 17:36 and Paula Findlay was third in 17:46.
'I felt pretty good considering I raced Monday,' Schaaf said in a post-race interview on flotrack.org. 'NCAA's was a really big race so it made this feel a little less intense.'
The junior race is open to all Canadians aged 19 years or younger. With the win Schaaf qualifies once again for the World Junior Cross Country Championships, to be held in Jordan in March of 2009. Schaaf was 20th at the World Championships this past March in Scotland.
The race caps an amazing cross country season for the freshman. In addition to her win today, Schaaf posted victories at the Pac-10 Championships, Tiger Invitational and Sundodger Invitational, and led Washington to an undefeated season. At the Pac-10 meet, Schaaf broke the conference record for 6,000-meters and crushed the course record at Oregon's home course in a time of 19:24.
With a well-deserved break upcoming before indoor track season, Schaaf will get a chance to reflect back on her record-setting season.
'I'm pretty sure once I get some down time and I think about it I'll assess how I've developed, but I can definitely tell (I've improved).'