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Balancing cross-country and track and field

There’s a big difference between racing 800-metres and 10,000-metres. Second-year track athlete Hudson Grimshaw-Surette is proving that he can do both. 

“He’s too talented and competitive not too,” said cross-country and track and field Head coach Rich Lehman about why Grimshaw-Surette is running for both sports.  

The kinesiology student dabbled in cross-country last year, running in two races. He came 14th at the DAL/SMU 8-kilometre invitational last September, and finished 37th at the Université Laval invitational 10-kilometre race last October.  

However, his main focus is on the track. A middle-distance runner, Grimshaw-Surette came 7th in the 1000-metre and 11th in the 600-metre races at last season’s U-Sports track and field championships. He was named Dalhousie’s Male Rookie of the Year.  

“Last year I didn’t really wanna [run cross country] as much and then I got to the team aspect of it and I realized that it was actually kinda fun,” the Yarmouth, N.S. runner says. 

Lehman says that Grimshaw-Surette’s ability to run cross country was never in question, but they “didn’t want to push things too much” in his first year. 

This year, he’s taking it more seriously, after the men’s team lost several key runners: Cal DeWolfe, Graeme Wach and Will Russell. 

“I just wanted to help out,” Grimshaw-Surette says. 

In a team atmosphere, Lehman says that Grimshaw-Surette is “a natural leader.” 

“He’s got a lot of confidence. He’s pretty good at getting the guys where they need to be in a workout,” Lehman says.  

Whether that’s mentally preparing for a tough workout or making sure people are taking it easy. “He’s really good at managing his emotions,” says Lehman.  

So far, Grimshaw-Surette’s cross-country season is going well. In the University of Prince Edward Island invitational meet in September, he placed 8th. He was the second Tiger to finish, less than a second after English exchange student Bryn Smith. 

Dal is hosting the AUS championships at the end of October. Grimshaw-Surette doesn’t have high expectations for himself. “It’s more of a show-up and hope for the best kind of thing,” he says. 

Given his performance so far, hoping for the best could lead to a finish inside the top ten, His focus is on the team winning. 

“I just want to contribute to the team as much as I can,” he says. “I wouldn’t say that I have a placing goal as much as a team goal – to win.” 

The men’s cross country team won the AUS championship last year and are looking to defend their conference title. Lehman says that while Grimshaw-Surette is an asset for that goal, it’s important to remember that cross-country is not his speciality. 

“There’s no point in losing sight of what he actually does,” says Lehman, which is to “run two laps of the track really fast.” 

Grimshaw-Surette agrees, saying that running cross-country will help him get a good fitness base before he focuses on the 1,000-metre and 800-metre races of the track season, but that “it’s mainly for fun.” 


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