By Charlie Pinkerton
Two of the city’s newest high school running juggernauts collided at the city championships on Thursday and it was the latest product of Glebe Collegiate’s unstoppable cross-country program that came out on top.
Cara MacDonald placed 1st at the meet, leading the way for her Gryphons team that won gold in the division. Karina Hageltorn of Paul Desmarais finished in 2nd place. Both ran wild in their respective conferences during this year’s NCSSAA cross-country seasons.
MacDonald won a bronze at Trinity College’s annual invitational, finished in 4th place at the pre-OFSAA race and won races in Ottawa at the Gryphon Open and Capital Challenge as well. Hageltorn won the Rebelles Invitational and the National Capital West Conference Championships. The city championship was the first race they’ve ran against each other.
MacDonald praised the Gryphons cross-country program after the race.
“It’s the best,” said MacDonald, who immigrated from Scotland as a child. Aside from running cross-country, MacDonald swims with Swim Ottawa and races in triathlons. “We do so many races and it’s really good for your racing experience.”
A Gryphon victory in the first race of the day set the pace for their team, which won 1st place in all six divisions at the NCSSAA cross-country championships.
Hageltorn’s placed 1st in every cross-country race she can remember since Grade 3, but said she wasn’t disappointed to come 2nd.
“It’s fun to have competition,” Hageltorn said. Hageltorn said she would like to place in the top 10 at the OFSAA championships but with it being her first time attending the event she just plans to try her best.
Paul Desmarais opened in Stittsville in January 2016. Coaching staff from the Ottawa Lions have aided the school’s upstart cross-country program. The team will face a hurdle come track-and-field season when the school loses its track in favour of an indoor sports dome with artificial turf.
Glebe’s midget girls won the team competition with a score of 74. Their other point-scoring runners were Rebecca Black (14), Freya Hurst (29) and Maddy Nowlan (30). Grace Fader (41) qualified as the team’s fifth runner for the OFSAA finals. Paul Desmarais also scored 74 points. Their other point-scoring runners were Tinah Djerbib (17), Maeve O’Ray (20) and Elyse Godin (35). Emma Roy (71) qualified as the team’s fifth runner at OFSAA.
Zoe May of Immaculata placed 3rd in the midget girls division. The other OFSAA-qualifying individual runners in the division were: Franco-Cite’s Gillian Porter (4), AY Jackson’s Isabel Honegger (5), Colonel By’s Paige Saravanamuttoo (6) and Mother Teresa’s Charlotte Murchison (7).
Find more coverage of the 2018 NCSSAA XC Championships via: https://sportsottawa.com/2018/10/26/glebe-gryphons-win-all-six-division-titles-at-the-city-high-school-cross-country-championships/