Canadian distance studs won three of four junior and senior divisions at the NACAC Cross-Country Championships in Boca Raton, Fla. on Saturday morning. Brogan MacDougall and Kieran Lumb won the U20 divisions and Sasha Gollish improved her 2016 second-place Pan Am Cup 10K finish by winning the senior women’s 8K on Saturday.
NACACs, an abbreviation for North American, Central American and Caribbean nations, kicked off the first of two major cross-country events for Canada in March. The IAAF World Cross-Country Championships are March 26 in Kampala, Uganda. Athletes qualified for the two meets by finishing in the top-10 at the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in Kingston, Ont. back in November.
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The United States were the most competitive nation among participating teams that Canada went up against.
MacDougall, who won Canadian Running‘s high school runner of the year award, won the women’s U20 race with Hannah Bennison, the 2016 national champion, in second. The strong showing headed the 1-2-4-5-6 finish for Canada and vaulted the team to first place in the U20 women’s standings. It was the second consecutive year that a MacDougall won the U20 race as sister Branna, who now attends Iowa State, won the 2016 Pan Am Cross-Country Cup.
Canada’s 1-2 punch of MacDougall and Bennison clocked 16:39 and 16:44, respectively, for the 5K course. At the Pan Am Cross-Country Cup in 2016, Canadians also went 1-2 in the U20 women’s division.
Gollish, who won the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in 2016, came away with the win on Saturday clocking 26:48 for 8K. On first glance, Canada finished tied with the United States for the team win but the tiebreaker went to the red and white as Canada’s fourth runner, Lisa Brooking, finished ahead of the United States’ fourth runner.
In the men’s U20 division, confusion led to a revision in the final results.
According to Athletics Canada, a race official may have sent Lumb in the wrong direction as he was leading in the closing stages of the race. Preliminary results had him finishing second, as that was the position he crossed the line, but revised results show Lumb in a tie for first with Mexico’s Arturo Reyna Tristan. Canada as a team finished third in the U20 men’s division.
The last of the four races featuring Canadian content was the senior men’s 8K with Toronto’s Sami Jibril leading the way in sixth. Canada finished second as a team in the senior division as the United States dominated with team members finishing first through fifth.