OCAA Provincial Cross Country Success

For some, the season ended but not without a fight. Last year Fleming sent four individual athletes to represent the college at CCAA. This year we have doubled our numbers. 

On the women’s side our team was ranked 12th going in out of 22 teams.  Despite injuries, and a fast paced start with over 120 female athletes our women’s side was led by team Captain Madison Sloan who had qualified for her 2nd CCAA Championships in as many years as an individual.  Our women’s side displayed many great performances and seasonal bests as our team elevated their performance placing 8th overall.  Just missing out on a top 5 placing to qualify for the CCAA Championships.  Alexandra Kaczmarek had a stellar start and ran nearly 50 secs faster than any other race this season and just missed qualifying while running just behind Amy Corcoran.  Sarah Hein also had a seasonal best but missed qualifying with the team.

The men’s side was a bit of a different story as we had a lot of good surprises. Out of a field of over 140 runners for the first time in over 10 years two men ran and both qualified for the First Team Al-lstar. Our team led by Captain Riley Olesky placed 4th out sprinting a top ranked all Canadian athlete to the line in a display of guts and will power using every ounce of energy he had just missing out on a medal along the way.  Riley was followed closely by Andy Hein placing 6th.  What was even more impressive than his placing was how it was accomplished his college career best as he beat an adversary from Fanshawe College whom he had never come within 25 seconds of.  By the line he had outwitted his opponent by 18 seconds.  This was followed by Jake Buchan placing 22nd and along came Luis Curry to the rescue.  This was a difficult course and Luis had undergone a nagging injury for months surviving on water running as his sole training regime and was just in the game for a great experience.  No one expected him to pull the team to the line as he was our final counter runner.  The top 4 runners count for team points and we had 6 so to see Luis pulling us across the line was a inspiration.  Thanks to the teams effort our team was ranked 5th prior and placed 4th just narrowly missing a medal. 

We have high hopes moving on to CCAA as our team was sitting in second place while awaiting our fourth runner. While some had tough races, others having to run barefoot after losing their shoe we know moving ahead we can only move up from here.

-Darl Sutherland, Coach

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