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Results from a snowy, cold and gritty OFSAA XC

The upsets, breakthroughs and full results from OFSAA XC 2019

OFSAA cross-country 2019 was held in Sudbury – and the north delivered some serious running conditions. Serious cross-country conditions are, by definition, below-freezing temperatures, extreme snow (for this time of year), and very wet ground underneath the snow.

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OFSAA Sudbury finish line

NCAA champion and World Championship finalist Justyn Knight commented on social media that Sudbury was the toughest cross-country race he’s ever run (and that nothing in the NCAA even came close in terms of difficulty of terrain.)

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Despite the wild conditions the runners had very impressive races, with breakthrough performances from senior woman Abbey Yuhaz and senior man Matt Mason.


Yuhaz, who’s from Waterloo, has been a strong cross-country runner throughout her high school career, but she was never able to secure an OFSAA medal until Saturday. In Grade 10 she raced up a category (competing in the senior division instead of the junior division) to help her team, in Grade 11 she dealt with injury, which left her underprepared, and this year, Grade 12, she closed the deal by winning her first OFSAA cross-country championship.

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Yuhaz was the 2019 U20 3,000m national champion and she’s given a verbal commitment to the University of Tulsa for the fall of 2020. The runner says that the course was a little muddy and wet, but that beyond that, things went to plan. “The plan was to get into the top group as quickly as possible. Last year I was injured with shin splints, but this year I attribute my success to staying healthy.” Yuhaz held a substantial lead for almost the entire race, beating second-place finish Petal Palmer by 50 seconds. Third place went to Jadyn Keeler of Barrie.

In the senior men’s race, the finish was much tighter, with only a few metres separating first, second and third. In the end it was London’s Mason who would take the win in 21:12 ahead of Scott Arndt in 21:15 and Dakota Goguen in 21:20. Mason said Saturday’s were some of the toughest conditions he has ever run in. “About 1K in I ended up in the lead and I just decided to roll with it. I figured if no one wants to lead, I will. I felt really good at the halfway point. I knew today was going to go well. I guess all of the years playing hockey before I ran really got me used to the ice.”

Both Mason and Yuhaz will race Athletics Ontario Championships and Athletics Canada Nationals at the end of the month.

In the junior races, Riley Flemington and Sofia Bowe were the male and female winners. Bowe was very surprised at her victory, looking shocked as she came across the finish line. “With 400m to go I just went. I was hoping for top five, but winning is awesome.” Bowe said she’s going to celebrate this win by eating a lot of pizza.

In the newly renamed novice categories (formerly midget), Kyla Martin of Barrie and Erik Unger of Peterborough were the winners. In the co-ed para 3K race, Corey McCaugherty was the first male across the line and Cassie Kemp the first female.

Team results

Novice girls – SO Westdale

Novice boys – SO Winston Churchill

Junior girls – TS Leaside

Junior boys – St. Joseph’s St. Thomas

Senior girls – TS Leaside

Senior boys – TS Northern

Full results can be found here.

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