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“There is no such thing as bad weather”

Whatever the weather, the dedication and bond of Laurentian University’s Cross Country Team knows no bounds.

March 28, 2024 - If you’ve ever wondered just who might have the courage to be running on a snow covered sidewalk down Paris Street during Sudbury’s winter weather, it might just be Angela Mozzon or Cameron Date.

The two have been members of the Cross Country team since their first year as Laurentian students in 2019. Five years in, you can find them on the track for competition or outside training in almost all conditions. Angela and Cameron’s love for running is evident in their discipline, time management, and dedication to the sport. 

Angela, 5th year Concurrent Education student and Health Promotion graduate, is from Sudbury and trained with Track North while attending St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. Choosing Laurentian for her studies after high school was an effortless decision for Angela since both her older siblings were alumni but also because of the fast-track, five-year teaching program.

Cameron Date, 5th year Sports Administration (SPAD) graduate, is currently taking accounting courses as prerequisites to becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Originally from Haileybury, Ontario, Cameron attended Timiskaming District Secondary School before enrolling in the SPAD program. “I chose Laurentian for the SPAD program. It is such a unique program where you study commerce and sports at the same time. I am on a first name basis with my professors and we have fun in class. I just don’t think you get that at a bigger school,” said Cameron.

The Laurentian Cross Country team trains throughout the year, though cross country competitions start in the fall outdoors and move indoors to track starting around January. Throughout the academic year, the team is traveling almost every weekend to universities around Ontario to compete.

The team spends three hours training, three evenings a week, and if they aren’t competing on weekends, they are training on a Saturday or Sunday. Although it can be challenging to juggle coursework, athletics, and their personal life, both runners agree that the sport is worth it. They emphasize the importance of discipline and passion in the life of a student athlete. “We are constantly running throughout the year to stay fit. Students who are passionate about running are really good at time management because they get used to prioritizing time to run,” said Cameron.

Angela and Cameron say that the cross country team has formed an incredibly strong bond on and off the track. “Our school’s team has something special. We spend time together even outside of practicing. Our coaches are so invested in us and our team is so tight. I have talked to runners from other schools and that isn’t the experience everywhere. Those bonds make us a stronger team and help us improve as individuals,” said Cameron. Angela agrees, saying, “I love the running but being on the team is more than running - it’s being a part of a family.”

In her first year, Angela faced adversity and did not perform to her expectations when competing at Ontario University Athletics (OUA). “I was finishing almost last and since then I’ve shaved almost five minutes off my time,” she says, reflecting on her improvement. “If it wasn’t for our coaches who focus on development and this being a small school, I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point.”

Evidence of their love for the team and the sport, the Laurentian Cross Country team runs in rain, shine, or snowstorms. “Running all together outside in the winter is a choice,” says Cameron. “Most of us prefer to run outside so even snow won’t stop us. It’s fun to run in the snow with a group of friends instead of running on a treadmill in the gym.” The team recently ran through the city streets during a major snowstorm on a busy Saturday in Sudbury’s south end. Angela admits, “It wasn’t the fastest run that day but we had fun with it.” The two say that it is common for friends and family to not understand their hunger for running no matter the time of day or the conditions outside.

Having reached the end of his studies, Cameron will start working at a local accounting firm full time this spring but he says he will never stop running. Angela plans to stay at Laurentian for another year to make up for one year of competitive running that she lost to the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and is considering taking a masters program.