Cleaning up in Kingston
The Marauders cross country team took to the trails at the Queen’s Invitational meet on Oct. 11 in Kingston, Ont.
At this meet, the men’s team finished first overall with Taylor Forbes leading the pack at third overall. The women’s team finished second overall with Maddy McDonald being the first Marauder to cross the finish line in third place overall.
The men’s team managed to win for their third time in a row despite the absence of Captain Blair Morgan due to illness, and top runner Connor Darlington due to injury.
Morgan is a competitor that managed to work and train hard even throughout his sickness, and it took a lot of convincing from teammates and coaches alike for him to come to terms with the fact that he was too sick to race.
“It took him two weeks and a string of bad workouts before he finally admitted he was actually sick. And even then it still took some convincing before he finally agreed to just rest up for the OUA championships,” said teammate, Taylor Forbes.
Forbes debuted in this race, after taking a month-long recovery after triathlon season. He was looking forward to racing his teammate and best friend, but will get the chance to do so at the OUA and CIS championships, where Morgan will be in his best shape.
As for Darlington, he was experiencing some tightness in his calf after an earlier work out, and the coaches decided it would be best for him to sit this race out, and run at provincials and nationals when he is feeling his best.
“He’s as much a part of the top seven as anyone else and he will be ready to go come nationals” said Forbes.
Forbes’ first race of the season was extremely impressive, especially after a very long and competitive triathlon season, which saw him compete at the World Championships.
Standing on the start-line for the Queen’s Invitational, he had more than just the regular jitters before the gun went off.
“I was very nervous coming into this race. Not just general race nervousness but nervousness out of fear I may be burnt out from a long triathlon season,” said Forbes.
“It’s tough for us triathletes to perform our best with back-to-back seasons,” he added.
Forbes was able to prove that he was in great shape, however, finishing a team-best third overall and sticking with the race strategy Coach Sneyd had for him as best as he could.
Even with a podium finish, however, Forbes still believes that he has more in the tank.
“I thought I had it in me to run away with the race, but I underestimated by competitors and paid for it pretty hard in the last lap of the course,” said Forbes.
But Forbes first race speaks volumes for the kind of shape he is in right now. This race has gotten him one step closer to his final goal, which is to be an All-Canadian at the CIS Championships in Newfoundland.
Not too far behind Forbes in the race was Gabe Ghiglione in 6th, Austen Forbes in 7th, Luke Charbonneau in 9th and Derek Van Schepen in 13th.
The men’s team consecutive first place finishes has moved them up in the CIS rankings to second overall.
On the women’s side, the team finished second overall, a feat that has moved them up in the CIS rankings to 8th overall.
Maddy McDonald led the team, finishing third overall, right behind former teammate turned-Queen’s University grad student, Victoria Coates.
Next to cross the finish line in Maroon and Grey was Gabrielle Foran, who finished 10th overall, Maddie Benjamin in 15th, Kierstin Myers in 17th, and Erin Mawhinney in 25th.
The Marauders will get to tackle the same course again in Kingston in two weeks at the OUA Championships.
The team will take the next two weeks for a critical period of high-intensity training, followed up by some rest and recovery before the provincial championship meet.