Anieu Chan was a nervous rookie heading into the race but by the end looked like a senior crossing the line, with a smile, to win the WECSSAA senior girls cross country championship. "It's really exciting for me. I was nervous to take on this new experience but now that I'm actually doing it I realize it's not as bad as I thought and I'm really enjoying running with them." said Chan who won the 6K event in 22:00.
Her teammate Layla Masse finished 10 second behind. "We were actually running all the way to the last line and all of a sudden she started going. She just, boom, just kicked. Pure power. To have the tank after 6K is crazy."
Chan was a short distance runner in grade school but her coach Dave Scarrow knew she could help the team. "She ran 2:10 in the 800 in the summer time as a grade 8. She was a tenth of a second off the Ontario record this summer in the 800 and she beat the defending OFSAA champion in the 800 this summer by two second." Scarrow pointed out before sharing his admiration. "I'm surprised what she can do over 6K cross country coz I didn't know she had this kind of endurance or this kind of strength."
Having graduated one of their top runners, the defending OFSAA gold medallists weren't sure how the team was going to stack up. With Chan's emergence, Masse feels the Mustangs should be in the conversation as a contender this season.
"That runner would run with me all the time for these meets so now that Anieu is running with me it's kinda like we replaced her there. As long as everyone has a good race and pushes hard hopefully we'll stand a chance at getting that medal."
Sian Kniaziew of Cardinal Carter finished third with a time of 22:11. Massey's Ella Heredi and Julia Scarrow rounded out the top 5.
Team winner: Massey
On the boys side, Andrew Raoux tugged the logo on his shirt proudly as he crossed the finish line first in the senior boys cross country championships held at Malden Park Tuesday afternoon. "It felt really good. I knew the plan I wanted to go in with. I came out with it. Knew exactly what I wanted to do." said Raoux who clocked in a 18:29 seconds. Brendan Currie of Villanova was second at 18:54. Adreas Pardalis was third timing in a 18:57. "I really hope to go and take first at SWOSSA next week and then at OFSAA, AO's and other provincial races for club I look to just hang on to the top packs and see how far that can get me and hopefully finish like top-10.
Team winner: Sandwich.
Alexandra Pardalis of Sandwich won the Novice girls 4K in 15:24. Team winner: Villanova.
Andrew Gadoury of Tecumseh Vista won the boys event in 13:23. Team winner: St. Joe's.
The Jr. 5K winners were Sophia Prantera of Holy Names in 17:23 (Team winner: Holy Names) and Greyson Pitcher of Sandwich in 16:27. (Team winner: Sandwich)
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