North Vancouver’s Charlie Dannatt won bronze at the GNAC men’s cross country championships held Saturday in Lacey, Wash., helping the Simon Fraser University men’s team claim the conference title for the first time in team history.
Dannatt, a Handsworth grad, followed SFU teammate Aaron Ahl onto the podium on the wet and muddy 8,000-metre course at St. Martin’s University. Ahl, a senior from Calgary, won the individual title in a time of 24:21.8, beating Coleman Nash of Alaska Anchorage by just one second. Dannatt, a freshman runner, placed third in a time of 24:32.8.
The race for the team title was a close one, with SFU edging out the defending champions from Western Washington University by just five points. In a field that included 81 finishers, SFU placed three runners in the top 10 and five in the top 20.
The five-point margin of victory for Simon Fraser is the third closest in GNAC men’s championships history. Alaska Anchorage beat Humboldt State by two points in the 2002 championships and topped Western Washington by three points in the 2013 championships.
The SFU women also claimed the GNAC title Saturday, placing five racers in the top-10 to run away with the championship trophy. Senior Olivia Willett of Coquitlam won the individual title, while junior Megan Roxby, a West Vancouver Secondary grad, placed eighth. It was the women’s teams first GNAC title since 2014, after finishing second in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Next for the conference’s 10 teams will be the NCAA West Regional Championships, which take place on Nov. 6 at Western Oregon’s Ash Creek Preserve.