By Charlie Pinkerton
Glebe Collegiate’s Mei Mei Weston (24:59.71), Rosalyn Barrett (25:12.78) and Teagan Shapansky (25:36.55) swept the top 3 spots of the senior girls’ National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association cross-country running championship, but it wasn’t the result they wanted.
“Our goal was to come 1, 2, 3, 4,” Weston said after the race. “It was really close.”
About halfway through the race, Glebe’s front 3 were neck-and-neck at the front of the pack. Weston, a former OFSAA champion in cross-country, said her strategy was to escape from her teammates early, but that she was unable to do so.
“That was scaring me a little bit,” Weston added. She only distanced herself from Barrett with a kilometre remaining in the race that was just over 6 km long. Weston will run her final high school cross-country race at OFSAA on Nov. 4 in Petawawa. Next year she said she’s leaning towards heading south of the border to run in the NCAA, though she chose not to spill the beans on her exact plans after Thursday’s race.
Behind Weston were a pair of Grade 11s (Barrett and Shapansky) ready to give Glebe’s senior girls’ team a bright future. The Grade 11 pair finished 1st and 2nd in the city last year (Shapansky 1st, and Barrett 2nd) in junior. Shapansky showed that her talents extend to triathlon this summer with a 2nd overall finish in the Ontario Junior Cup series.
Glebe’s fourth scoring team member, Nina Whitford came 8th with a time of 26:42.14 to clinch a convincing victory for the school and qualify the team for the OFSAA. Sarah Macintosh (18th) will round out Glebe’s senior girls’ OFSAA runners.
All Saints claimed the second OFSAA qualifying spot in the division with a team score of 84. They had their own triad of finishes with runners Hollyann Shields, Marta Matuszewski and Melanie Loiselle coming in 15th, 16th and 17th. Julia Rioflorida was the All Saints 4th scoring runner, coming in 36th. Their 5th qualifying racer was Laurenne Tynski (44th).
Louis-Riel’s Megan Roy (4th), Colonel By’s Mollie Soroczan-Wright (5th), Cairine Wilson’s Abigail Lea (6th) Merivale’s Keegan Gaunt (7th) and West Carleton’s Emily Gibson (9th) also ran OFSAA-worthy races.