Mickey Day stood on the starting line of the Senior Boys’ race at the OFSAA Cross Country Championships in Brampton on Saturday with two great sources of inspiration to run the race of his life. The chattering heads on the internet forums had snubbed him. Not one of those “great” prognosticators had picked him to finish in the top 20. The second source was much closer to home, in fact, it was the vision across the dining room table of his brother Owen’s smirk that said “I finished 2nd at OFSAA, how did you do?” Owen accomplished that feat earlier in the day in the Midget Boys’ race.
In the early going, Mickey was well placed in the lead pack of 15 runners. Entering the last 2k of the 7k race, the pre-race favourite, Ben Flanagan, had established a large lead but Mickey was in 4th place about 10 metres behind the pair in 2nd and 3rd. He slowly closed on the pair, moving up even with them with 1k remaining, surging past them with 500m left and finishing comfortably in 2nd place. His finish not only surprised the predictors and his coach, but as Mickey himself said, “That awkward moment when you finish second at OFSAA and you’re just as surprised as everyone else…”.
On the other hand, Owen was expected to contend for a place on the podium and he did not disappoint. He and Ed Hayfron of Birchmount Collegiate Institute pulled away from the pack and while Owen ran an awesome race, well ahead of the rest of the field, Hayfron was just a little stronger leaving Owen with the silver medal.
Glebe Collegiate’s Junior Girls’ team, powered by 3 members of the Lions and led by Lions coach Kirk Dillabough, won the first gold medal by an Ottawa area school in last couple of decades. Claire Smith had an outstanding race placing 5th while teammates Zoe Pritchard and Alexa Livingstone placed 30th and 31st respectively in the field of 200 plus. Not only did this team win, but of the winning teams in the 6 categories, their score of 77 points was 44 points better than next best winning team and more than 100 points better than some of the other winning teams.
Running in her first OFSAA competition, Sophie Rodenburg took home the 6th place ribbon in the Midget Girls’ race and Olivia Robertson, in her first year in the Senior category, always a challenge for the Grade 11 athletes, ran a very strong race to finish 7th.
In the Senior Boys’ race, Alex Wilkie did not even qualify for OFSAA last year but his determination and hard work paid off this year as he finished 12th. Lindsay Kary improved on her 31st place last year to finish 17th in the Senior Girls’ race. Rounding up the top 20 performers from the club, Jonathan Favero ran his best race of his young career to finish 18th in the Junior Boys’ race.
Full results can be found at http://www.chiptimeresults.com/
Next up, the Lions will be heading to Kingston’s Fort Henry on Sunday, November 11 for the Athletics Ontario Cross Country Championships.