By Charlie Pinkerton
Seconds after crossing the finish-line with an exuberant “YEAH!” Sir Robert Borden’s Cameron Porter turned to embrace 2nd-place finishing Owen Pensom from Glebe Collegiate.
“I’m going to OFSAA for the first time,” said an excited Porter, who finished the slightly over 4 km race in 14:44.14, explained as the reason for his race-ending exclamation.
“I didn’t expect to do this well because I didn’t run last year,” said Porter, who didn’t compete last season because of a concussion he suffered playing soccer with the West Ottawa Soccer Club.
“He was born for this,” an out-of-breath Pensom (14:53.40) said of Porter, who he’s run against him since they were both in Grade 7.
Pensom saved his best performance (almost) for last, as the 2nd place finish is the best he’s registered in a cross-country race all year.
Pensom is following in the footsteps of his older brother Jack Pensom, last year’s champion at the junior boys’ level, though the younger of the two is quick to point out that his finish times are faster than his older brother’s. Grade 11 Jack Pensom finished 9th in the senior boys division on Thursday, the 2nd best result for a boy born in 2001.
The younger Pensom will lead a strong Glebe Collegiate midget boys team (which scored 22) to OFSAA in Petawawa on Nov. 4.
“That was the goal, to get the team to OFSAA,” Pensom added.
Keito Newman was Glebe’s next finisher in 5th place, followed by Gryphons Robin Mason, Elliot Cole, Torin Lam and Sebastian Cino finishing in positions 7-10, who from top to bottom were only separated by 8 seconds. Cino falls under the Glebe’s team qualifying and will serve as the team’s alternate at OFSAA.
Porter’s Sir Robert Borden squad came in 2nd with a total score of 91 behind finishes from Judd Sjolund (4th place), Max Forzley (24th place), and Kyan Ma (68th place). (Glebe runners’ non-counting point-scores in places 15, 31, 45, 56, and 67 make up the discrepancy of the score total.)
Ashbury’s Luke Allan (3rd), Franco-Ouest’s Miguel Alvarez (6th), St. Mark’s Thomas Fulton (11th), Colonel By’s Lucas Clemons (12th) and Woodroffe’s Brandon McLarnon (13th) each poured in performances worthy of a berth at the provincial championship.