For the second straight year, a cross-country runner representing Cambrian College has emerged as an early season favourite to medal at the OCAA Championships on October 29 in Toronto.
Just twelve months ago, Sudbury native Emily Marcolini claimed gold at the provincial showdown, en route to a bronze medal showing at nationals in Brockville. This past Saturday, Mary Strain opened her 2016 season following a very similar path.
A former member of the Lakehead University cross-country team and a native of Fort Frances, Strain ran away from the field at the Fanshawe College Invitational X-C Race in London.
Celebrating her twenty-second birthday on the day of the race, Strain covered the 5km course in a first-place time of 18:47, finishing more than a minute faster than Breanna Dolderman of Conestoga. All of this despite the fact that Strain had not raced competitively in almost two full years and was planning on just “easing her way” into the weekend event.
Jacqueline Robichaud, the only other Golden Shield female competitor entered, placed 82nd in a time of 28:41. The Cambrian men’s team also featured a pair of entries, as both Josh Murphy (46th – 32:21) and Wyatt Kennedy (85th – 35:30) tackled the 8km course.
The Cambrian crew are back in action on Saturday, October 1, travelling west to Sault Ste. Marie, which is also the host of the CCAA Championships on November 11 and 12.