Cross Country seasons in the OUA are short, however, races are something athletes have to prepare for year round. For a majority of the winter and spring, the runners have tough challenge of staying in shape, while the summer is the time to get ready for all the races, with the year quickly approaching.
For the men and women’s cross country teams here at Brock, their year got started a couple weekends ago. It has been a roller coaster ride for this program at Brock over the course of the last few years. This year, the rosters for both sides are filled with a handful of first-years, all looking to use this as a growing year that can lead to future success.
To open the year, the teams went to the New Balance Vic Matthews Open at the University of Guelph Arboretum. The men placed eighth, while the women fared a little better with a seventh-place finish.
Jelmer van den Hadelkamp led the way for the men, as he finished 59th in the race, which was only three minutes behind the top runner Matt McNeil of Dalhousie University. For van den Hadelkamp, his final time was 35:24. The team’s captain Brendan Sanders finished 75th , Matt McGarr at 78th and freshmans Ryan Gagnon placed in at 79th, Lucas Salazer-Reid at 84th, Brett Parent in at 86th, Nathaniel Baker at 88th and Branden Gallagher at 89th.
Alex Ratcliffe finished with a 24:21 final time, which led to a 43rd overall finish on the women’s side. Annelise Martin was a close 45th, Joanna Francolini in 57th, Erin Laughlin at 61st, Mary Lapp was at 66th, Brittany Murphy at 68th, Megan Kiley 69th and Aynsley Maves was 75th.
This past weekend the Badgers participated in the Western International Invitational.
The men finished 13th overall as van den Hadelkamp led the way with a 27:05 time, good enough for placing 50th. Sanders finished 99th, Ryan Gagnon right behind at 100th, Brett Parent finished 107th, MccGarr in at 116th, Lucas Salazer-Reid was 119th, Gallagher at 122nd and Nathaniel baker finished 127th.
The women were led by Martin, as she recorded a strong 19:50 in the 5km race. Martin’s time was good enough for 55th overall. Erin Laughlin finished 74th, Mary Lapp was at 91st and Murphy finished 108th.
Next up for the teams is the Don Mills Open in Waterloo on October 3. There will be a Brock Invitational held here in St. Catharines on October 24, prior to the OUA championships.