Laura Sinclair

Senior Sports Editor

Despite the absence of some of the best runners on the team at the Western International meet, the Marauders cross country team still managed to hold their ground, and prove to do well in awful conditions.

On the women’s side, notable absences in the race included Maddy McDonald, who the coaches are saving for the meet in Guelph this weekend; andcaptain Chelsea Mackinnon, who is nursing a minor injury.

Although these two big scorers were not racing, the women’s team still placed fifth overall, with three runners in the top 25.

Former Marauder turned Queen’s Gael Victoria Coates won the 5km race, but former teammate Courtney Patterson was not too far behind her, finishing in 3rd place with a time of 18:16.

Crossing the line second for the Marauders was Kierstin Myers, a former Mustang that transferred to Mac this year. She came in 21st, with a time of 18:59.

Right behind Myers, and the first rookie to finish the race was Emily Nowak, who ran the course in a time of 19:01, which was good enough for 22nd.

In 60th place was Charlotte Ward, who finished with a time of 19:38, and in 67th place was rookie Adrienne Morgan, who finished with a time of 19:54.

Rookie Phoebe Cseresnyes looked like she would finish among the top 20, but unfortunately had to quit half-way through the race because of an injury.

If the Marauders women’s side had everyone healthy and ready to race, their score will only get better, and their placing will only get higher.

On the men’s side, the absences of Lionel Sanders, Connor Darlington, Taylor Reid, Taylor Forbes and Austen Forbes were noticeable, but the men still finished well, and placed seventh overall.

“I think that had everyone been racing, we would’ve been up with the top schools competing for a medal”, said men’s team captain Blair Morgan.

“But without our top guys, it gave some rookies and vets a chance to step up and score in the top 5 for the team, which they might otherwise not get.”

Morgan was the first of the men to cross the line for the Marauders. He finished 17th overall in the 8 km race with a time of 25:58.

Morgan had a strategy for the race, which helped him in having a strong finish.

“[Coach] Sneyd wanted us to go out easier in the first half and finish hard in the second so I stuck to that plan. I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be afterwards, but it was only an 8k, as compared to the 10k races we have coming up,” said Morgan on his race tactics.

Not too far behind Morgan was Gabe Ghiglione, who finished in 23rd place with a time of 26:05.

Crossing the line after Ghiglione was rookie Paul Rochus, who finished in 31st place with a time of 26:21.

After Rochus, veteran Eric Barry finished in 43rd place with a time of 26:38, and rookie Nick Belore finished in 26:41 which was good enough for 44th overall.

The Marauders won’t have much of a break, as they are back in action at the Guelph Open meet this coming weekend. This meet will include the entire roster on both the men and women’s side. Captain Morgan is foreshadowing a great showing from the maroon and grey

“Definitely expect some great performances from the Mac crew. I’m looking forward to seeing many of the athletes who didn’t race at Western start their season off next weekend at Guelph. It will also be interesting to see how the teams stack up against each other on a 10k course”

The Marauders will take the trip to Guelph on Sept. 28 and will hope to score a top three finish overall with the best of the Maroon and Grey in the chute and ready to go.

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