Conestoga news

November 1, 2010 2:16 PM

Smith Celebrates Provincial Gold

At the end of what game do you see athletes screaming to force themselves to go faster?

At the end of what game do you see athletes falling to the ground from absolute fatigue?

Jason Smith, OCAA Cross Country Gold Medal

During what game do you see athletes breakfast come up for round two… and the athlete keeps going?

During what game do you see coaches sprinting faster than the athletes just to give the athlete support?

It’s not a game, it is Cross Country Running.

Some people make it look easy, some people think it is easy. It isn’t. The coaches say it is “80% mental toughness”, how does one train for this? Cross Country Running, where you lay it all out on the trail. You run alone but you count as a team, you are as strong as your weakest link.

Jason Smith won his second OCAA Men’s Individual Cross Country title with an 8 km time of 26:01 making this the fourth straight year that a Conestoga runner has won the OCAA Men’s Individual Cross Country Running Championship. During the 8km race Jason had a significant lead only to fall to the ground giving other runners precious seconds to catch up. This did not shake Jason’s focus enough to stop him though, he got up and kept his lead winning by 13 seconds. Was it mental toughness or skill- 80/20? Either way, he’s %100 a Conestoga Condor.

Neither of Conestoga’s teams won in the team category but they certainly represented well. At the finish line of the Men’s race the Women’s team was either along the sidelines cheering until they lost their voices or handing out water to their arriving men. During the Women’s race the Men’s team was scattered along the trail cheering the women on, some of the men had even made personal signs for the women!

At the end of the Men’s race I noticed something that truly made me proud to be a fellow Conestoga Student Athlete: Chris Rankin ran through the finish line and instead of heading for a cool down, sit down, or even water, he stood at the finish line, red in the face and sweating, and shook every single man’s hand that finished the race after him. That is sportsmanship. That is a Conestoga Condor.

Overall the men finished 6th and will send four runners to the National Championships: Smith, Paul Tremblay, Wade VanderKraak and Brendan Hancock.

The women were led by Candice Pusey. A late arrival to the team her hard work has seen her dramatically increase her standing throughout the season.

Fanshawe won the overall title in both the men's and women's division. See the full results below.

Conestoga Men

1 Jason Smith 26:01
20 Paul Tremblay 29:22
26 Wade VanderKraak 30:01
33 Brendan Hancock 30:59
36 Simon Gabsch 31:11
38 Alex Hunak 31:29

Conestoga Women

36 Candice Pusey 23:22
42 Heidi Bechtold 24:06
44 Kristine Hutchinson 24:26
50 Michelle Grundy 26:32
57 Mandy Mistele 29:19
60 Katie Tomas 32:12