McMaster’s cross country teams hit the ground running at their first meet of the season
C/O Steve Moran
Excellent performances by the Marauders lead to podium finishes at the Western Invitational
McMaster’s cross country teams kicked off their season with a dominant outing at the Vigars & Salter Western Invitational. At their first race of the year, the men and women’s teams showed out, finishing first and third respectively at their eight kilometre run events.
Similar to golf, the team with the lowest score in a cross country meet wins. Teams require a minimum of at least five runners in order to be officially scored and corresponding point values are assigned based on their standings. The top seven runners on a team are able to affect a team’s results, with the first five contributing to the total score and the latter two acting as displacers to push back opposing runners’ ranks.
After coming in third at the event in 2021, the men’s team battled their way to claim the top spot in this year’s London showdown.
Max Turek — winner of the OUA bronze medal at last year’s championship eight kilometre race — finished third overall with a time of 24:34. Ending 18 seconds after Turek, Alex Drover placed fifth for the team, allowing both individuals to claim the leading two scores among qualified varsity runners.
The men’s team completed the meet with a score of 47, beating out the Western Mustangs who managed a total of 69 on their home grounds. Praising their overall performance, Drover viewed the event as a good indication of what the team has in-store for the rest of the season.
“I think we showed that we have a strong, deep team. We had a lot of runners out and everyone was performing well. It is early in the season but I think it was a race that set a good foundation for us to move forward from,” said Drover.
As for the women’s team, they placed third in their run, collecting 69 points at the competition. Leading McMaster with her time of 30:03, Hannah Goodjohn came third among university runners and seventh in the race overall. Sliding into sixth for the varsity group, Rosalyn Barrett completed the race in 30:20 to give the team two top-ten finishers altogether.
“I think going into it we had some really big competition, just some strong teams there. Guelph is a very, very strong team, same with Laval. . . it was a really exciting race,” said Barrett.
True to her word, both schools took commanding presences on the leaderboard. Aided by gold and silver finishes from athletes Jade Bérubé and Florence Caron, Laval’s Rouge et Or ended the meet in second with 54 points. Despite their efforts, the Guelph Gryphons managed to pull ahead of the pack, backed by five, top-12 placing runners and a leading score of 44.
The Marauders took on their second meet of the year on Oct. 1 at the Don Mills Open in Waterloo. Primarily featuring runners who have yet to compete this year, both the men and women’s teams rested the majority of athletes who participated at the Western Invitational.
Approximately two weeks later the team will make their Hamilton homecoming on Oct. 14 for the Marauder Bayfront Open, in preparation for the OUA and U Sports championships. Given their success early in the season, they look to be tough competitors up until the season’s end.