It was the case of another Canadian Cross Country Championship, another national team spot earned by runner Claire Smith on Saturday afternoon. After representing Canada at this year’s North American, Caribbean and Central America XC Championships, Smith’s seventh place finish at the junior championship in Vancouver earned her a return trip to the area championship as well as a ticket to the World Championships set for next March in Guiyang, China.
The Glebe Collegiate student was in a tight battle to get on the podium, completed the 6km course in 22:54, a mere six seconds behind bronze medalist Mirelle Martens. Claire, who recently signed a letter of intent to attend Stanford University in California, did win a gold medal as part of Team Ontario’s dominating performance in the provincial branch competition.
In the junior men’s competition, the team of Farah Abdulkarim, Cameron Caughey, Jonathan Favero and Jeremie Venne placed sixth overall in the club competition. According to Coach Kirk Dillabaugh, the team was “the first and only team to participate at the Championships since being hosted out in Vancouver, B.C.” Abdulkarim was the top finisher, placing 24th in the 82 person field. Caughey was 46th, Favero 51st with Venne rounding out the quartet in 71st.