A pair of cross country athletes are coming home from the OCAA Championships with provincial honours.
Sarah Law (Barrie, ON) and Bobby Buck (Belleville, ON) both earned 2nd team All-Ontario certificates after excellent performances on Saturday. The races took place over a 2k loop at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
The women's race covered 6k total (three loops). With a provincial title on the line, the field started fast and a gap quickly opened up between the lead group and the rest of the field. Law, in the trailing group, worked her way through into 9th by the end of second loop. She continued to separate from the chasers and close on the leaders with a strong final lap, but ran out of room before finishing in a time of 24:42.
The men raced a total of 8k, with Buck positioning himself near the front of the chase pack through halfway. Some hard surges by other runners put pressure on Buck, and he worked hard to maintain contact. This mid-race effort took a toll though as he slipped out of the top ten in the final kick to the finish (11th overall, 27:57). Nonetheless it is still an excellent performance for a first year athlete and one of the youngest runners in the race.
Both athletes will advance to the national championships, hosted by Seneca College on November 10th.
For the three other Loyalist athletes competing this was the final race of the collegiate season. Kai Mackintosh (Belleville, ON) turned in his fastest time of the year in the men's 8k (41:04). Carly Fockler (Stouffville, ON) completed the women's event in 37:56, while Hannah Valley (Blenheim, ON) was unable to finish due to injury.
One Loyalist athlete who was not competing, Nicole Flynn (Madoc, ON), still managed to take home a provincial award. She received the Fair Play Award, an honour voted on by coaches across Ontario