It will be difficult to try to represent all of the heart and passion that I have experienced as a part of this team with words on a piece of paper, but I will do my best.

Every journey has a starting point, and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where ours began. At the very least, this Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) championship title was three years in the making, so I suppose our journey began in 2013 when we lost the overall title by a mere two points.

In 2014, we experienced a similar heartbreak when, despite the amazing breakout performances and beating our ranking, the banner was two points out of reach again. I remember as a rookie last year agonizing over those two measly points.

There was no agonizing over points this year, and there was no leaving it to chance. There was a lot of heart, a lot of guts, and relentless self-belief — and we finally walked away with our CIS banner. At the end of the three days, our individual performances culminated into a whopping total of 131.50 points, ahead of Trinity Western University in second with 79 points.

Women’s track and field team poses with CIS championship banner. MARTYN BAZYL/VARSITY BLUES

Women’s track and field team poses with CIS championship banner. MARTYN BAZYL/VARSITY BLUES

The moment when we finally got to hold this coveted banner — when this banner became our banner — at the awards presentation, my breath was taken away. Winning the team title meant so much to us. No team was more deserving than this group of ladies.

We were there on a mission and we were confident that we would achieve it, but not one of us takes this victory for granted. After the past two years, we know more than anyone that just because something can happen doesn’t mean that it will happen. But these ladies never stopped believing in themselves, and our coaches never stopped believing in us either.

My favourite race memory from the weekend was the 4×800-metre relay. We had a dominant team lined up and we had just broken the Canadian record at the Ontario University Athletics championship, but we knew that we would have a great battle with the University of Victoria.

Rachel Jewett did an amazing job leading us off, Honor Walmsley continued to stretch our lead, and Sasha Gollish — the CIS Athlete of the Year — dropped the hammer to give me a very comfortable lead.

As the anchor, I had to run away from one of the best 800-metre runners in Canada, Rachel François, and I knew the race wasn’t won until I crossed the line. When I grabbed that baton, I ran for my life. I would not settle, and I refused to be caught.

Running scared clearly worked, because we ran a new national and CIS record of 8:32.36, shattering the previous record by 10 seconds. Nothing can compare to anchoring with the fastest 800-metre of my life, and then running into the arms of my fellow record-breakers who held me when my legs gave out.

Behind every great team is an even greater support group, and we are blessed with the best in the country. We were all so proud when our head coach Carl Georgevski was awarded with the CIS Coach of the Year.

Georgevski, along with the rest of our coaches, has taught us never to dismiss heady goals out of hand. Instead, we’ve learned to ask, “How? Where? When?” — they have taught us that we are limitless.

Looking ahead, I am confident that we will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. We have many athletes graduating from our program this year, and they leave us with big shoes to fill, but I believe that we are up for the challenge. One thing is certain: as long as we have a team with this much heart, we will never be defeated.