Trent Lynds wants to be the AUS Rookie of the Year. It’s a bold statement, but Lynds has plenty to back it up. The first year psychology student was the best graduating cross country runner in the province last year, and he’s had an unbelievable start to his Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) career.
After taking up track in grade seven, Lynds went on to win medals every year in track and field and cross country at the Nova Scotia high school championships.
“In Grade 8 I said ‘Okay, I weigh about 100lbs and I play hockey, and I think it’s time for me to drop out since everyone else weighs 160,’” says Lynds, explaining that he decided to focus on track after realizing he had the talent to match his runner’s physique.
The jump from high school competition to the university level hasn’t been too much of a stretch for the rookie, not least because the Tigers head coach, Rich Lehman, was his coach during his grade 12 year. Lynds ran with the Halifast club, which Lehman also coaches.
“Most of the people in the club were grade 10 and I was the only grade 12, so [in the summer] I jumped into some of the Dal guys’ workouts.”
Nowadays, Lynds’ training program consists of similar workouts, but his overall mileage has increased substantially.
Team veteran, Jake Wing, says that Lynds is running smart. Wing, a graduate student in industrial engineering, would know – he’s had his fair share of injuries making the transition from running in high school to the CIS level.
“You need to run more to be able to run that distance, but then there’s a fine line of running more and running healthy,” Wing states, referring to the leap from high school races of seven kilometres to 10 kilometres in university. For the younger members of the team, he has some advice: “Just be patient in your training and let the gains come where they may.”
Admittedly more of a track athlete, Wing found it harder to wrap his head around the length of university cross country courses as a rookie. He, like Lynds, is having a strong season, and hopes to close out his athletics career as a Tiger with a bang. He has represented Dalhousie at CIS championships multiple times in both track and cross country, and this year will be no different.
To be fair, Lynds has not run a 10 kilometre race yet – the meets this season have been either six or eight kilometres – but will do so at the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championships on October 29th. His recent performance at the University of New Brunswick sets him up well for what is to come: by kilometre seven of the eight kilometre race, Lynds was a full minute faster than his previous best seven kilometre finishing time.
Off the course, he’s finding his academic workload on the heavy side. “I think running’s the only thing keeping me sane right now – this semester’s been pretty hard.” Still alive? “Barely.”
Wing also credits varsity athletics with helping his scholastic performance.
“It’s easier to let things go by the wayside when you have tons of time, but when you have to fit it around running a couple hours a day and set practice times, you really have to figure it out or you won’t make it through.”
As the cross country season wraps up on November 12th with the CIS championships, both Lynds and Wing have high hopes.
“We’re all clicking, the team’s running quite well … I think going into AUS [championships], we’re pretty happy with where we are,” says Wing.
And Lynds? “If I go to CIS and race well, I don’t really care what I do at AUS. But if I race well at CIS, then that’s what I’m going for, AUS rookie of the year.”