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Canadians dominate at NACAC cross-country champs

Canadian U20 men and women's teams both earned gold medals today, while our senior men's and women's teams earned silver

Taryn O’Neill of Kelowna, B.C. and Evan Burke of London, Ont. won the U20 women’s and men’s races at the NACAC cross-country championships in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad yesterday. O’Neill ran 22:08 in the 6K, sharing the podium with Charlotte Wood of Bracebridge, Ont. and Makenna Fitzgerald of Kamloops, B.C. in second and third places. Burke ran the 8K in 27:20, with Nick Mota of Newmarket, Ont. and Andrew Davies of Sarnia, Ont. finishing second and third. Both Canadian U20 teams won gold medals.

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With the temperature hovering around 30 C, conditions were considerably different from the cold, muddy nationals in Kingston, Ont. last November. The U20 women scored 10 points for the gold medal, with an average finishing time of 22:17. The team raced without Brogan MacDougall of Kingston, Ont., who had to pull out due to illness. The men’s team won with 12 points and an average time of 27:34.75. 

Canada’s senior women won a silver medal today, with Jessica O’Connell of Calgary finishing second to Breanna Sieracki of Team USA, Natasha Wodak of Vancouver finishing fourth and Canadian champion Gen Lalonde of Moncton, N.B. finishing fifth. The team averaged 36:53.5 and lost to the US by only two points. (O’Connell set a new Canadian indoor 3,000m record last weekend with her 8:46.50 finish at the Millrose Games.)

Our senior men also won the silver medal, with Rory Linkletter of Calgary finishing fifth, Mike Tate of Heatherton, N.S. seventh and Evan Esselink of Courtice, Ont. ninth, for a combined 31 points and an average finishing time of 32:32.5. Canadian champion Luc Bruchet of White Rock, B.C. did not start. 


The teams will travel to Aarhus, Denmark next month for the Cross-Country World Championships.