The Athletics Canada Cross-Country Championships are this Saturday at Fort Henry in Kingston, Ont. The event hosts Masters, U18, U20, and Senior races. Max Turek, a second-year student at McMaster University and member of the 2018 Canadian World Junior team, spoke to us about his picks for the U20 race on Saturday. Turek was the 2018 OUA champion, but will not be racing nationals this year.
First: Andrew Alexander
Alexander ran NCAA’s on Saturday, finishing 160th. The second-year competes for the University of Notre Dame. Turek said, “Alexander definitely has some good racing under his belt. He ran a strong 8K, and he has the track speed to back it. It’s his last year as a junior and he wants it bad.” Alexander was 10th in 2017, but most of the top 10 finishers have moved on to the senior level.
Second: Isaiah Frielink
Frelink runs for Western and was the first junior across the line at U Sports, following his third-place finish at the OUA championships. Turek says he’s fast. “If it comes down to a kick he will certainly be in the mix.”
Third: Evan Burke
Burke is the U18 Canadian record holder over 3,000m. At the Youth Olympics in October Burke took down Michael Woods’ 3,000m record of 8:16.37. Woods went on to become one of Canada’s best cyclists, finishing third at the UCI Road World Championships two months ago.
Dark Horse picks:
Turek’s dark horse picks are Alex Drover, Andrew Peverill and Mitch Delange. Drover is a second-year student at McMaster University who represented Canada in the steeplechase at the World Junior Championships in July. Drover was 14th at the U Sports Championships two weeks ago. Delange finished just ahead of Drover at U Sports, placing 12th. Either of these runners could cause an upset in the U20 race. Peverill is a second-year runner for the St. Mary’s Huskies who was 19th at the U Sports Championships. He was the junior national silver medallist over 1,500m in 2018.
First: Brogan MacDougall
MacDougall has been undefeated all season. She won the Paul Short Invitational earlier this fall, handily won the U Sports Championships despite difficult conditions, and was named both U Sports rookie of the year and U Sports Athlete of the Year. She’s the defending champion.
Second: Anne Forsyth
Forsyth was 46th at the NCAA Championships on Saturday and third rookie across the line. Turek said, “If anyone was to give Brogan a run for her money I’d say it’s her. She’s got a good season behind her.” Finishing in the top 50 at NCAA’s as a rookie is no easy feat. If Forsyth can make a quick recovery from NCAA’s she will be a contender for the title.
Third: Taryn O’Neill
O’Neill is a freshman at Villanova. She was second in the 3,000m at the U20 Pan Am Championships in 2017, and placed 174th at NCAA’s on Saturday.
Dark horse picks:
Turek’s dark horse picks are four-time OFSAA champion Cameron Ormond, and OFSAA record-holder Jocelyn Chau. Both women have raced each other extensively and gone back and forth in results for years. Ormond is in grade 12 at Aurora High School and Chau is in her first year at Yale. Both are very strong racers, and depending on the day, could easily find themselves in the top three.
Full entries can be found here.