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Gen Lalonde wins Pan Am Cross-Country Cup on home soil

Lalonde continues her winning streak into 2020

Canadian steeplechase record holder Gen Lalonde handily won the 2020 Pan Am Cross-Country Cup in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday. Lalonde crossed the line in 37:37, over 30 seconds ahead of American Carrie Verdon, who finished in second place. Fellow Canadians Natasha Wodak and Victoria Coates were fourth and seventh respectively.

Lalonde is one of our most consistent Team Canada members. The runner has represented Canada so many times she can only ball park the figure (she’s sure it’s over 20). Her 2019 running year was nothing short of stellar. She broke her own national steeplechase record, made the World Championship final and was one of Canada’s highest-ever World Cross finishers (20th at the Denmark race). Her Pan Am win was a nice way to start her Olympic year.

RELATED: Get to know Team Canada: Gen Lalonde

U20 results

Another notable Canadian result came from Sadie Sigfstead, who finished second in the U20 women’s 6K race. Sigfstead crossed the line in 23:23. Her teammates Ceili McCabe and Petal Palmer weren’t far behind, finishing sixth and seventh. The Canadian U20 team finished first overall in the team results, with 15 points.

To make things even more impressive, Sigfstead is much younger than her competitors. Sigfstead won the Canadian national U20 cross-country race to qualify for the team, despite being only 16 and racing up a category. This B.C. native is a distance running force, and despite her young age (she could be racing down a category in U18) she certainly showed that she was capable of running with the junior women at December’s Canadian nationals, and again today at the Pan Am Cup.

In the U20 men’s results, Philippe Morneau-Cartier was the top Canadian finishing seventh in 27:27.

In the senior men’s race, Conor Black was the top Canadian, finishing fifth in 33:25. He was followed very closely by B.C. native John Gay in 33:35 who finished seventh. The race for the win came down to a photo finish between Anthony Rotich and Johnatas De Oliveira Cruz. On the last lap Rotich and De Oliveira Cruz were neck and neck, and on the home straight had a photo finish, both recording 32:50 but De Oliveria Cruz was announced the winner by a fraction of a second.

Senior men’s podium

Black was the 2018 U Sports cross-country champion and Gay was a 2019 World Championship team member in the steeplechase. Black told Athletics Canada after the race, “I played it exactly how I wanted to. I’m just really happy to be here in Victoria, competing on home turf, wearing the Canadian singlet.”

Full results can be found here.