Hannah Leggatt placed third in the opening meet of the season for the Griffins cross-country team on Saturday, despite not slowing down her training for the event.
Given the option whether or not to race, the reigning Canada West first team all-star entered the event at Edmonton's Goldstick Park and finished the 6K race in 25:16. It was just 10 seconds back of former Griffins teammate Vanessa Trofimenkoff, competing for the Running Room.
Edmonton Harriers runner Sade Sigfstead won in 23:47.
"She stuck to the race plan," said coach Drew Carver of Leggatt's race. "The idea was to run negative splits and she felt she could have even gone faster, so it was good."
She and Trofimenkoff battled early before the latter pulled away, but Leggatt almost reeled her in at the end.
"It was a good run," chuckled Carver. "It was like old times watching those two together."
The top freshman was Abby Ackerman, who finished 14th in 26:54, while fellow newcomers Shehzadi Abdul (27th in 29:16), Jocelyn Leffers (32nd in 30:24) and Daniella Wasielewski 37th in 31:36) also competed.
On the men's side, only newcomers raced for the Griffins on Saturday. Aaron Boyle finished a solid 10th in the 8K race (31:27), a little behind the time of unaffiliated winner Matt Travaglini (27:58).
"Aaron Boyle performed unbelievably well for a first-time rookie," said Carver. "He stuck to the race plan and figures he could have even gone faster."
Fellow freshman MacLean Kew finished 39th (38:02) and Ryan Lawley was 50th (42:00).
The Griffins will now be preparing for their first race against Canada West competition on Sept. 30 at the University of Saskatchewan for the Huskies Sled Dog Open.