Laurier Brantford women podium for third-straight season at OCAA cross-country championships

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By Darryl G. Smart

Though they captured two-straight Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women’s cross-country medals, Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford Golden Hawks coach Cory Currie had no idea what to expect.

Well, they certainly didn’t disappoint, bringing home a third-straight overall medal, an individual and a ticket to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Calgary.

Faith Nieson

“We’re all pretty excited about it,” Currie said. “The last year has been a roller coaster not knowing if we would have a season or not. Not only that, we lost two of our girls and our top male runner to graduation, it was going to be a season that we have to to battle and prove we can still be on of the top OCAA teams.”

Despite it all, Faith Nieson led the way with a brilliant third-place performance to give her a pair of bronze medals on the day. Kennedy Finch rounded out the top-10 runners in the field with a 10th place finish, while Chiara Carinci placed 16th, Kara Hughes 28th, Adna Kadrispahic 34th, Maya Vidovich 42nd.

“Having no season in 2020 and not being able to have any practices, I’d have to admit it was a struggle to keep the team motivated, coming off our best year yet at Laurier Brantford in 2019, winning the OCAA on the women’s side,” Currie said. “But this team is built on toughness and they really showed that.”

On the men’s side, the Golden Hawks ended up in eighth place overall. Jackson Rice led the team with a 16th place finish. His effort qualified him for the national championships. The rest of the men’s team finished in a pack: Michael Visser 40th, Francesco Dinatale 42nd, and Jonas Dewar 44th.

“These are some great results for a team that’s only been in existence for five years,” Currie said. “Our women’s team has established itself as one of the best in the province. We are looking to bring home our first men’s OCAA medal in the near future.”

The CCAA championships in Calgary begin on November 13.

“We all know it will be an adjustment with cold weather and possibly snow,” Currie said. “But like I said, our team is built on toughness and that’s our strength that will push us forward.”