MT. IRVING, Tobago – Feb. 24 – Southern Utah’s Mike Tate represented his homeland of Canada in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday at the 2014 North American, Central American and Caribbean Cross Country Championship. The true freshman raced to an eighth-place finish in the men’s junior 6,000-meter run with a time of 18:48.11.
Tate competed as a member of the five-man Canadian team and raced alongside athletes from the U.S.A., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas. He was the third Canadian to cross the finish line, following teammates Ben Flanagan and Justyn Knight, who finished second and fifth, respectively. U.S.A. athlete Sean McCorty led the field of 31 runners with a first-place time of 18:11.30.
“The experience Mike gained at the NACAC Championship will serve him well in his future competitions at the Big Sky and at the regional and national levels,” head coach Eric Houle said.
Southern Utah alumn Cameron Levins had also represented Canada at the NACAC championship, finishing second in the senior 8,000-meter race in 2011 before taking the title in the same event in 2012. Levins went on to earn several All-American citations, two national titles in track and field and the 2012 Bowerman award, the highest award given to an individual track and field athlete in the NCAA.
“International competition like this helps an athlete develop his or her ability to race and to handle the pressure of that level of competition,” Houle continued. “When Cam got into the national meet, he was prepared, in part, because of his experiences at international meets like this.”
Tate will join the rest of the Thunderbirds this weekend as the team travels to Pocatello, Idaho, for the Big Sky Indoor Championship. The meet will take place Thursday through Saturday, hosted by Idaho State.