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Leonard Chesoo takes gold at CCAA cross-country championships

Runners braved 15 cm of snow on the course at the college championships in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Saturday

The CCAA cross-country championships took place on a very wintry course at Grande Prairie Regional College in northwestern Alberta on Saturday. Concordia University of Edmonton’s Leonard Chesoo braved 15 cm of fresh snow to take the gold medal in the men’s 8K field, breaking the tape in 27:12 and improving on his second-place performance last year, while RSEQ champion and 2018 silver medallist Simone Plourde of Collège André-Grasset won the women’s race (6K) in 24:50.

Chesoo finished just four seconds ahead of Carter Free of the St. Clair Saints (27:16). Fanshawe’s Sandy Freeland took the bronze medal in 28:33.

If you follow road racing, you may remember Chesoo from the lululemon Edmonton 10K in July, where he set a new personal best and broke the course record in 29:27, and he recently took the Alberta conference title.

In the women’s race, Anne-Frédérik Drolet of Cégep de Jonquière, who finished third last year, was 13 seconds back for silver (25:03) and defending champion Sophia Nowicki of the Lethbridge Kodiaks took the bronze medal, in 25:22.

Men’s team results

In team results, the Fanshawe Falcons took top honours on the men’s side, with three runners (including Patrick Smith (29:30) and Luke Grouix (29:41) as well as Freeland) in the top 10. Dion Killens (30:01), Lucas Salazer-Reid (30:40) and John Berthelot (31:00) completed the team.

The St. Clair Saints’ took the silver medal, with Tyler Jones following Free in 29:02, Rick Nepomuceno in 30:17, Thador Tekhli in 31:41, Tyler Tofflemire in 31:57 and Justin Folkeringa in 33:33.

The Red Deer Kings took team bronze, with Devin Saunders (29:33) scoring a top 10 finish and Daniel Szucs (29:57) in 12th. William Cebuliak (30:08), Stephen Rowley (32:12), Carson Schiller (32:58) and Benjamin Arychuk (33:02) all worked hard for their national medals yesterday.

Women’s team results

In women’s team results, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks took gold, with Anna LeBlanc (26:58) and Rosie Bouchard (26:59) finishing 11th and 12th and Vildana Rekic (28:02), Janelle Graham (28:45) and Sydney Crowe (30:24) contributing strong times.

The St. Lambert Cavaliers took silver, with Véronic Boire leading in 25:28 and Samantha Flood (25:33), Mathilde Parent (27:34) and Catherine Boilard (28:28) rounding out the team results.

The Laurier-Brantford Golden Hawks finished third, with Vanessa Brown (26:13) leading Faith Nieson (27:09), Kara Hughes (27:46), Chiara Carinci (28:42) and Jessa Braun (29:20) to bronze medals.

Next year’s CCAA nationals will be hosted jointly by the Cégep de Chicoutimi Cougars and the Cégep de Jonquière Gaillards.

Photos of all the events can be viewed here. For more information, click here.