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Cross Country
Peter Grinbergs Named Cross Country Coach

WATERLOO, Ont. - Peter Grinbergs has been named the new head coach of Laurier’s cross country program. The department of Athletics and Recreation is pleased to welcome Grinbergs to the Golden Hawk family.

Peter comes to Laurier with extensive experience coaching cross country and track. He has guided numerous athletes to national championships at both the junior and senior levels, and has traveled internationally to destinations like Morocco, Hawaii, Germany and Japan doing so.

“The appointment of Peter Grinbergs as head coach has just made Laurier a destination of choice for top student-athletes specializing in middle distance and cross country running,” said PETER BAXTER, Laurier’s director of Athletics and Recreation. “Coach Grinberg’s experience working with athletes at the local, provincial, national and Olympic levels will raise the bar for middle distance runners wearing the Golden Hawk uniform.”

Most recently, Grinberg’s coaching has brought five athletes to compete at the Olympic level, including local competitors Kathy Butler, Paula Schnur, Doug Consiglio and Danuta Bartozak. Lindsay Carson, a University of Guelph athlete who was last year’s Canadian Track and Field Athlete of the Year, is another skilled athlete training under his wing.

With the 2009-2010 school year quickly approaching, Peter is eager to begin the upcoming cross country season and implement a new direction for the team. The revised program will involve a tri-city track club combined with Laurier, and the main focus will be on development.

“Two units working together will provide a complete year-round program. This will encourage athletes to understand what they need to do to run at a very high level,” said the new head coach.

Grinbergs is looking forward to working with the entire cross country program, and lists some of the team’s male athletes who he anticipates will make an impact on the team. Runners like Shoamir and Soamir Ichram, Jordan Fox, Matt Robertson and Colin Yardley are some of the team’s athletes who are sure to put a spotlight on the program. With these new runners, Grinbergs expects the men’s cross country team to have a competitive edge from the beginning. He is counting on seeing exceptional strides in the women’s program as well.

Peter was born in Noranda, Quebec and lived there until his family moved to Kitchener at the age of ten.  His interest in athletics began early on, and as a child, he was primarily a hockey player. During his time as a high school student at Eastwood Collegiate in Kitchener, he competed in numerous sports including hockey, football, basketball and cross country.

After graduating from high school, Peter attended the University of Waterloo in an Indepedent Study program where his areas of focus included psychology, philosophy, sports, and counselling. Presently, Peter works within the local board of education as a child and youth worker and resides in Kitchener.

The cross country club is already running informal training sessions. Currently, the group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. at Bechtel park for work outs. Off-day runs start at the Athletic Complex on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m

Coaching alongside of Grinbergs this season are nine other talented previous national-level athletes, including assistant coaches Rich Tremaine and Wes Alkin, and associate coaches John and Leslie Carson, Krestena Sullivan, Ian Carswell, Dana Fox and Paul Zapletal. With such a strong coaching team, Peter looks forward to seeing the positive evolution to come.

“We are developing a program that demands a high level of commitment. Training for distance running is demanding and our athletes will need to be able to combine their training schedules with their educational tasks,” said Grinbergs. “We want to develop into a solid distance program. That’s the key.”

Wilfrid Laurier University's Department of Athletics and Recreation is home to 22 varsity sports as well as numerous intramural, recreation and fitness programs. Laurier’s varsity teams have brought home 55 provincial championships as well as 11 national championships in 97 years of competition.

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