Miramichi's Laura Dickinson wins gold and silver at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Miramichi’s Laura Dickinson added to her collection of medals over the weekend, coming in second in the six-kilometre race at the Pan American Cross Country Cup in El Salvador.

Dickinson finishes second in her race and helps Team Canada's junior women win a team gold

Laura Dickinson, second from right, says helping Team Canada's junior team win gold was a special moment. (Athletics New Brunswick)

Miramichi's Laura Dickinson added to her collection of medals over the weekend, coming in second in the six-kilometre race at the Pan American Cross Country Cup in El Salvador.

The 18-year-old runner also came home with a gold, as she helped Team Canada's junior women's team secure the top spot. 

"It was one of my first times really running on a team, and so that was just an awesome experience," Dickinson said.

"We just all crossed the line, and we were just so exhausted and tired from the heat, and we were just all hugging each other, and it was a really special moment."

Canada dominated the six-kilometre, pulling off a podium sweep. Dickinson's Canadian teammates Brogan MacDougall and Martha MacDonald finished in first and third. Dickinson finished in 20:54.0, just 18 seconds behind MacDougall. 

I think they're great stepping stones to competitions in the future.- Laura Dickinson

"We were, like, working together, and she pulled ahead within the last kilometre, but up until that point we were really running together and just trying to do the best we could as a team."

Dickinson said representing Canada at these international competitions helps her prepare for future races. 

"I think they're great stepping stones to competitions in the future. I just look forward to these competitions and trying to make the Canadian teams. They're always amazing experiences."

Handling the heat

Dickinson had to deal with temperatures many New Brunswickers would be happy to have in the winter, but it actually made it more challenging to race.

"It was about 30 degrees every day," said Dickinson. 

"It was definitely not what I'm used to, but we made sure we drank lots of water before and stayed in the shade as much as we could."

The event organizers were prepared for the heat and tried to make it easier for the athletes. 

"They had water stations along the way, so that was really helpful, and every two kilometres you could grab a sponge and cool yourself off."

Now that the Pan American Cross Country Cup is over, Dickinson is back at Syracuse University, which she just started attending in the new year.

Full scholarship

After a busy summer, Dickinson took a break in the fall and looked at different schools. 

"During that time I got to visit a few other schools, and I took a visit to Syracuse and I just loved it, and I decided to come here," said Dickinson. 

Syracuse is a top Division 1 NCAA school for track and field and is giving Dickinson a full ride scholarship.  

"I really like it here," she said.

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.