Posted on: April 10, 2018
The head coach of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack cross country team will be looking for a lot of fresh faces this coming fall. A number of veterans have graduated from Carmin Mazzotta’s squad.
Mazzota is off to a great start on his recruiting trek as he and the WolfPack have secured the commitment of Calum Carrigan of Kamloops, BC. Carrigan will be graduating from South Kamloops Secondary this June.
“Staying at home in Kamloops made sense for me,” said Carrigan who will be enrolled in courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Science at TRU. “Carmin has some good people on the team. It just made sense for me to train here.”
Carrigan believes he is joining the program at a good time with a number of open spots.
“I started running in grade seven and liked it,” he says. “I wanted to pursue it so gave up rep hockey and started to try track and field. My motivation is good and I have been lucky to have some good coaches over the years.”
Carrigan’s first coach in track was former Olympian Gary Reed.
Ian Polos has been coaching Carrigan as a middle distance runner with the Kamloops Track and Field club the past two years. “Calum did well at the BC high school Cross championship placing 32nd out of 233 in the senior boys category. It was a very competitive race and he was coming off an injury early in the season. He also turned in some great performances at the BC high school track championships in the 800 and 1500 meter races. i expect some big results in his final high school year.”
Polos believes Carrigan is maturing as a runner. “In the last couple of years, he has grown to become a strong runner and a very mature one. Part of being a mature runner is that you understand your body, when to rest and when to work hard.”
The WolfPack and the Kamloops Track club have trained together in the past so Carrigan has been exposed to Coach Mazzotta’s approach. “I feel it will be an easy transition in some aspects. I know the mileage will increase. “
Mazzotta adds, ““ We already do joint workouts twice a week during the cross country season with their high school group. As a result, Calum knows our program and knows my coaching style. I’ve also been able to get to know him and how he responds in different training stimulus. This is a huge transition from high school to the university level and if we can make that transition smoother, it minimizes injury risk and will increase our ability to have Calum respond well to the training and peak at the right time.”
Polos believes that Carrigan will be able to adjust to life as a student/athlete overall with some ease. “The transition from high school to USPORTS can be a tough one. He will have to find the right training balance to stay healthy and away from injury. Calum always brings a great attitude to practice and puts in a quality effort.
Discipline in any sport is key. Carrigan says what he learned from his hockey playing days and from Reed has helped him excel in cross country. “There are times in the race where you want to quit. You have to keep telling yourself that you can do this. Being disciplined helps push you through to the finish You don’t want to go too early nor do you want to go too late and have a good kick at the end. You have be focused on when you should or should not kick”.
Says coach Mazzotta about his first recruit signing, “This year we graduated an unprecedented number of athletes so we are in a rebuild phase, especially on the men’s side. Calum is probably the highest performing recruit to come into our program yet and will be a great addition to our young squad.”
FINISHING KICKS: Polos on the WolfPack securing a local runner, “Coach Mazzotta continues to grow the TRU cross country program in what seems like leaps and bounds. The WolfPack program had been relatively unknown before Carmin took over. Now, TRU is a team on the rise and will be one to take notice of in the future. Calum will play an important role in getting Thompson Rivers into the USPORTS top 10. I am very pleased to see that talented athletes like Calum are staying in Kamloops to continue their running and education. With so many good programs out there, it shows TRU and Coach Mazzotta are providing the right opportunities for these athletes to stay.”