By: Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
SCARBOROUGH, ONT.- At the OCAA Invitational hosted by Centennial College at Ashtonbee Campus on Sept. 13, the weather being chilly was a major understatement.
But it did not deter any of the runners on this day as they fought through chilly temperatures and gusty winds on Saturday morning in what was the final invitational before provincials.
For the women's 6k race, Janelle Hanna, of Fanshawe College, finished in first place with a time of 24:03:3 while St. Lawrence's Erin Adam finished in second (24:08:5) and Fanshawe's Rachyl MacPhail placed third (24:14:7).
In her first race as a member of the Centennial Colts, Nicole Fiorini came in 42nd with a time of 29:13:6, which was just over five minutes behind the leader. Eden Smith finished 67th (36:09:7) while Kimberly Tate, despite suffering a lower body injury in the second lap, incredibly managed to finish the race in 70th place (43:23:4).
With all five runners finishing in the Top 20 in the invitational, Fanshawe took the top shot in the women's team standings with a top four score of 22 points and a top four total time of 1:39:28:8 while Laurier Brantford finished in second (1:46:45:8; 65 points) and Mohawk in third (1:47:43:0; 69 points).
On the men's side, Mohawk's Kyle Rooke dominated the cross country scene once again, winning his third straight invitational with a time of 26:49:8 for the 8k race. Andrew Brown, of St. Lawrence, placed second (27:01:0) while Rick Hepomuceno, from St. Clair College, finished in third (27:29:3).
Marcelo Flores was Centennial's best runner for this invitational, placing 54th (31:50:7) with Taranjeet Singh right behind him in 55th (31:55:8). Suleiman Sualim came in 62nd (32:49:9) while Jared Merkley came in 64th (33:06:2) and Casper Josufi was 66th (33:09:4).
For the men's team standings in terms of top four times and scores, St. Clair College took home the top spot with 30 points and a time of 1:52:20:5 while Sheridan finished in second (1:55:16:4; 62 points) and Fanshawe placing third (1:55:50:1; 68 points).
CATCH OUR NEXT MEET: All of the OCAA teams have two weeks left to prepare for provincials as the 2018 OCAA Championships, hosted by Centennial College at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, on Saturday Oct. 27. Times are still to be determined.