SAIT’s cross country star
Ricki Christopher, of the SAIT women’s cross-country team, finished the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference cross-country championship with a silver medal after finishing sixth in last year’s tournament.
Since her very first race of the season, Christopher said it was her goal to get a medal. She knew it would be a big improvement from last year.
“I really wanted to make it on to that podium this year,” said Christopher.
“It was a dream come true and I am glad I got to represent SAIT while I did it. I have an awesome team behind me that supported me 100 per cent.”
Running has always been a part of Christopher’s life, the Herbert, Sask. native said. In high school, she ran in 400 and 800 metre track and field events. She ran cross-country in grades nine through 12, but said it was a sport she never excelled in.
As she got older and went to the University of Regina (U of R) where she competed in track and field, she switched from out door track to indoor. In indoor track, she competed in the 300 and 600 metre race.
“When I joined SAIT, Bre [MacEachern] and Ryan [Edgar] said ‘you’re too good at running not to do cross-country,’ so I joined and did really well at it,” said Christopher.
MacEachern and Edgar are the two head coaches for SAIT’s cross-country team.
“My success comes from a lot of their training,” said Christopher.
What brought her to SAIT was her passion for her program, Medical Radiologic Technology (MRT). MRT is a career she wanted to pursue after she studied nursing at the U of R, which she decided wasn’t for her. She applied at a few different schools, and after evaluating her options, felt that SAIT was the best fit.
After living at SAIT residence in her first year she noticed that SAIT had a cross-country team. She just took a year off from training after being at the U of R, and decided to contact the head coach at SAIT.
“I’ve always loved running and I thought if this was something I would be good at and [I would] really enjoy my team here at SAIT, then I am going to do it.”
Christopher said that her favourite part about cross-country is the moment upon crossing the finish line, knowing how much effort, time and perseverance has been put into prepping for the sport.
“It takes a lot of training and a lot of grit. The moment when I cross the finish line and I put all that work behind me, [I] get a runners’ high and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
She said when she finishes a race and accomplishes her goals, there is no feeling like it.
Christopher said she’s been an athlete her whole life.
“In high school I played pretty much every sport there was,” including badminton, volleyball, basketball, curling, wakeboarding and snowboarding to name a few.
“I’ve always been involved in sports, I was always really competitive in basketball and running. When I moved on to university, I knew I couldn’t do both so I chose running.”
After college, Christopher hopes to get hired by the Cypress Health Region, an organization she previously worked for. She may also go back to continue her education.
“I’ll just see where my career path takes me.”