Benson running off to Trinity

Fiona Benson

Benson running off to Trinity

By IVAN DANIELEWICZ Herald-Tribune staff - LINK to web article

From fifth place in British Columbia to first in Canada, it's been quite a journey in the past year and a half for Fiona Benson.

In 2009, Benson finished in fifth at the British Columbia High School cross-country championships. This past November she tied for first place at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championships as a member of the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves running team and was named CCAA Academic All-Canadian.

From there she won a silver medal as part of Team Canada in February at the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletic Association cross-country championships in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Yeah, it's been quite a year for Benson.

"It kind of took me by surprise that there were all these opportunities and the support that was out there for it," said Benson, who originally hails from Dawson Creek, B.C. "It was just a fantastic year."

Benson's cross-country running journey is now taking her southwest to Langley, B.C., where she's signed on with the Trinity Western University Spartans.

"I just felt Trinity felt best in all the areas," Benson said. "I met a lot of really neat coaches in running programs, but there was just something really special about Trinity and the university as a whole."

With the jump to a university, Benson will now be competing at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level as she continues her studies in kinesiology.

"It will be a big jump up," she said. "I got to see some bigger scale events this year and that was a really neat experience and I think all of the races will be at a higher level now.

I'm really excited to be going up a level and just having that extra push."

GPRC Wolves cross-country head coach Bill Corcoran was still wrestling with the news Benson was moving on to Trinity.

"Its been very mixed emotions," he said. "Obviously when you lose a national champion, that puts a big hole in your team for next year. But I'm really happy with the choice she made. I think it's going to be excellent for her both academically, athletically, and spiritually."

Looking to broaden her horizons, Benson left today to volunteer with Mother Teresa's Order in Kolkata, India, for 2 1/2 months.

"I don't want to just focus on one area for my college years, I want to explore everything of who I am," Benson said. "I had a great year with the running and scholarships and everything and that opens the possibility for me to go and volunteer for the summer."

Mention of Benson's volunteer work in India drew a laugh from Corcoran.

"She's just an amazing person," he said. "Somebody had just said, 'Oh you're just winning at life' and she is, she's just a great kid; very humble, very organized, very coachable, and its served her well to this point."

Last Updated: 2012-03-07
Author: Mark Janzen