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CCI runners make history with first-ever team gold at champs

OFSAA gold the cherry on top of 'one of the greatest seasons of cross-country racing CCI has ever seen,' writes team coach

The following article was submitted by the Collingwood Collegiate Institute cross-country running team. 


Collingwood Collegiate Institute's (CCI) cross-country running team capped off its incredible season at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) Championships at Dagmar Ski Resort in Uxbridge on Nov. 5. 

The Owls continued their winning ways as they once again coloured the trails in black and, especially, in gold. Led by the novice girls team, who captured CCI’s first-ever team gold medal at an OFSAA championship, the entire squad was able to amass more overall team points than any other school in the province! 

The day of racing opened in stellar fashion as Sabine Cornell cruised to an eighth-place finish in the novice race, pacing the Collingwood Grade 9 team to their spot atop the podium. Sadie Johnson and Elly Moore had phenomenal runs as they captured 28th and 31st positions respectively. Meredith Holloway (110th) and Hannah Whiteley (173rd) then rounded out the gold medal team –Collingwood Collegiate’s first-ever team gold in cross-country running at an OFSAA championship.

The novice boys then opened the guys’ competition with an impressive seventh-place finish by Evan Moore. That placing was the top GBSSA finish and powered the Owls squad to 10th place in the province. Marco Savini (91st), Evan Pollock (156th) and Gavin Sorensen (174th) rounded out the team that added valuable points to CCI's overall team total.

The junior girls also ran well placing 27th in Ontario after being led by Kenzie Wall in 63rd position. Alice Yates (170th), Ashleigh Cavill (200th), Abigail Davidson (212th) and Tessa Check (223rd) completed the spirited junior crew.

The junior boys then took to the hills and posted the top finish by a boys’ team from Collingwood in 20 years by taking fourth overall –just five points off the podium. Wesley MacMillan was the fastest Junior Owl as he laid down a great second half of his race to place 20th. Nathan Sims (52nd), Memphis Palmer-Gummer (113th), Jack Bailey (152nd) and Iain McKellar all put forward great performances to achieve this impressive feat.

The senior girls then did their part to add to Collingwood’s overall team total by taking ninth place honours in their race. Some bad luck marred the race as several athletes fell on a tricky section of the course costing one CCI athlete, Chantal Abbott, some valuable places. Still, the team was led by Emmily Ott in 29th place and was able to secure the valuable top-10 finish. Gabby Wall (83rd), Evie Oakey (136th) and Payton Dodd (147th) all pushed hard to post this fine result.

The final race of the day saw the senior boys of Collingwood Collegiate grab 19th as a team, led by Benjamin Mundle with an impressive 54th-place finish. Logan Bubb (125th), Alex Cavill (166th), Evan Chisholm (181st) and James Pederson (189th) capped off a great day of racing for the Owls.

In the end, it was an impressive and appropriate finish to an historic season. Collingwood Collegiate entered six meets this year and came out victorious – as the best overall team – in each and every one of those meets. This season they took top honours in the Georgian Bay Race Series, won the pre-OFSAA invitational and then qualified all six teams for the OFSAA Championships by winning the overall combined title at the GBSSA Championships. Now they can add OFSAA gold as an exclamation point to one of the great seasons of cross-country racing CCI has ever seen.