Men’s Cross Country Race to Silver behind Free’s Gold
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Windsor, ON – St. Clair College’s Men’s Cross Country team raced to a team Silver Medal on home soil behind the Gold Medal performance of first year runner Carter Free (Napanee, ON) at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Provincial Championships held Saturday afternoon at Windsor’s Malden Park.  The event was hosted by St. Clair College for the first time since 2009 and saw 19 OCAA schools take part.  The Saints have not had an individual gold medal since Martin Labute achieved the feat in 2006.  The St. Clair Women’s team was 5th overall out of 16 teams entered and also qualified for the CCAA National Championships in Grande Prairie, Alberta Nov. 9th.

The defending Provincial and National Champion St. Clair Men’s team was ranked #2 in Canada behind Fanshawe who put 6 runners in the top 14 finishers on their way to the gold.  St. Clair was still only 3 points behind Fanshawe which sets up quite a rematch at the Nationals in a few weeks.  Carter Free is still unbeaten against collegiate runners this season and bested the field of 93 runners in a staggering time of 24:56 which was 31 seconds ahead of 2nd place.  Tyler Jones (Lasalle, ON/Sandwich) took 7th place in a time of 26:12 followed closely by fellow 3rd year man Rick Nepomuceno (Windsor, ON/Holy Names) who crossed the line in 26:14 over the 8km trail.  Thador Tekhli (Chatham, ON) was 15th in a time of 26:56 which completed the St. Clair scoring group.  Tyler Tofflemire (26th Place, 28:19) and Justin Folkeringa (41st Place, 29:33) were the other finishers for the Saints.  Free and Jones were named All-Ontario 1st Team members with Free collecting the OCAA Rookie of the Year Award.  Nepomuceno earned All-Ontario 2nd team honours for the Saints.  Sheridan College took the men’s team Bronze Medal who were 40 points behind St. Clair.  

The St. Clair Women’s team was ranked #10 nationally coming into the race and put up personal best times in their scoring group almost across the board led by Trinity Davis (Windsor, ON/Vincent Massey) who was 15th in a time of 24:43.  Fellow rookie Mya Palumbo (Amherstburg, ON/General Amherst) was right behind in 16th position in a time of 24:44 followed closely by Hailey Jones (Windsor, ON/Vincent Massey) in 18th spot crossing in 24:55.  St. Clair’s Natasha Atherton (Windsor, ON/Holy Names) was 25th with a time of 25:31 to round out the Saints scoring group.  Jessica Hodgkin (28th Place, 25:54) and Beth Horrobin (32nd Place, 26:18) were the other finishers for St. Clair in a field of 64 runners.  Laurier Brantford claimed the OCAA Women’s team title with the University of Toronto (Mississauga) taking the Silver ahead of Fanshawe in Bronze position.  Laurier Brantford’s Vanessa Brown (Kitchener, ON) won the individual gold medal in a time of 22:45 over the 6km course. 

The Canadian Championships will be hosted by Grande Prairie Regional College at Grand Prairie’s Muskoseepi Park in two weeks’ time.


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