Teagan Gahler named new Ooks cross-country coach
Teagan Gahler, a former runner on the Ooks cross-country team, has been named to replace her mentor as head coach of the NAIT program.
Gahler ran for the departing Wayne Dalman and then served as his assistant in 2012.
“Wayne is what kept me in the sport of running. He was a mentor and a very good friend," she said.
Gahler, 25, was named to the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association apprenticeship coaching system in 2011 after earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from NAIT. In addition to this part-time coaching opportunity, she is director of marketing and communication for the NAIT Students' Association.
There is not much time for the new coach to prepare for the upcoming season, which features four Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) events and the national championships at Humber College in Toronto on Nov. 9.
“We’ll start making decisions about the makeup of our team in late August and we’ll be ready for the first ACAC event on Sept. 4 in Red Deer," Gahler said.
Gahler is convinced a team approach can be made to work in a sport such as cross-country, although individuals are responsible for their own success.
“It’s important in this sport to have a strong balance between competition among individuals and support for the team concept. There is no question that runners are encouraged when they hear teammates cheering as they go past."
Male athletes run eight kilometres in ACAC cross-country events, while females cover a five-kilometre course.
Dalman will remain as supervisor of NAIT's fitness centre.
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