For the first time in McMaster cross country history, both the men’s and women’s teams found a place on the podium together. With the team points and finish times noted, both teams ranked third overall and received bronze medals at the OUA Championships in Waterloo.
The men’s team repeated as OUA bronze medalists while the women’s position on the podium was more of an upset.
Team captain Maddy McDonald led the way by finishing 16th overall and crossing the line first for the team. Emily Nowak finished two places behind McDonald. The third place runner for McMaster was Gabrielle Foran, with the fourth and fifth places going to Chelsea Mackinnon and Maddie Benjamin. The last two runners were Lauren Locco and Soren Meeuwisse, finishing 32nd and 43rd respectively. McMaster’s team total was 103 points.
The Women’s Cross Country program, currently ranked fourth in the nation continues to make great strides in solidifying their spot amongst cross country powerhouses. Team captain Maddy McDonald feels that the bronze place was one that showed great improvement for the team.
“Earlier in the season, we did not make the Top Ten ranking. We felt that we had more to prove. Our training and our fitness was going well. Everything worked well in the day and it was really exciting for us,” said McDonald.
With a sport like cross country, individual finish times are just as important as the team’s. Team points are concluded from the addition of individual times so it is clear that every second counts.
For the team to improve on individual and team bests, training is crucial for the success of the team. The team trains outside five to six times a week and workouts take place three times a week.
“Going into the CIS Championships, our ranking this week is a huge motivation for us and it is attainable,” said McDonald.
Both teams have a week away from competition to train and direct their efforts to the CIS Championships, hosted by the Guelph Gryphons on Nov. 14.
“Before going into a race, we remind ourselves of the work that has been put in and all of the hours of running and strength has been done. It is about being proud of our effort no matter the outcome,” said McDonald.
The men’s and women’s teams will look to bring it all together and bring some more hardware back to McMaster.
Photo Credit: Maxine Gravina