Canada fifth in women’s junior team standings at cross country running worlds
Monday, March 31, 2008
EDINBURGH, Scotland Canada placed fifth in the womens junior team standings on Sunday at the cross country running world championships.
The Canadian team members were Kendra Schaaf of Craven, Sask., Paula Findlay of Edmonton, Danelle Woods of Ottawa, Lindsay Carson of Cambridge, Ont., Geneviève Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., and Tamara Jewett of Toronto. They placed 20th, 23rd, 25th, 31st, 36th and 55th respectively in the individual six kilometre race.
Its a great team result, we knew we had a strong team, said Schaaf, 17, competing at her first worlds. It was good to have raced internationally. A really good experience.
Genzeze Dibaba led Ethiopia to the team gold with a victory in the individual race.
In the mens junior eight kilometre race, Kenya placed four runners in the top-10 for the team victory. Canada was seventh in the team standings with Matthew Leeder of Brockville, Ont., Aleksandr Kuternin of Toronto, Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., and Nyial Majock and Peter Corrigan, both of Calgary. They placed 30th, 50th, 51st, 57th, 60th and 66th individually. Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia won the gold.
Were pretty surprised with such a strong team result, said Leeder, who improved 30 spots over last season individually. We were second to last in 2007. But we talked before the race and we felt it was our best team in the last five years. In my own race, I just got consistently faster in each lap and passed eight guys in the final lap.
Canadian coach Thelma Wright said the junior runners delivered under pressure.
We had high expectations for them, said Wright. And they did us proud. Both our junior teams really worked as a team. We told them they werent racing against the best in the world that they were among the best in the world.
In the womens senior eight kilometre event, Ethiopia was 1-2 with Tirunesh Dibaba first and Mestawet Tufa second. Alexandra Becker of Guelph, Ont., was 63rd, Elizabeth Wightman of Unionville, Ont., 64th, Lisa Harvey of Calgary 77th, Suzanne Binne-Huse of Winnipeg 79th and Erin MacLean of Timberlea, N.S., 83rd. Canada was 12th in the team standings.
My hip has been bothering me the last few weeks and really affected my preparation for the event, said Becker. I was very nervous because it was my first long race in awhile. I have to credit Elizabeth who really pulled me through the race.
In the mens 12 kilometre race, Kenenisa Bekela completed the Ethiopian golden sweep with the victory. James Gosselin of South Porcupine, Ont., was the top Canadian in 91st. Joel Bourgeois of Grande-Digue, N.B., 96th, Alex Hutchinson of Toronto 117th, Dylan Wykes of Kingston, Ont., 130th, Derek Nakluski of Kitchener, Ont., 139th, Spencer Morrison of Vancouver 144th, Colin Fewer of Harbour Main, N.L., 146th, Cleve Thorson of Port Elgin, Ont., 151st and Trevor Caldwell of Mississauga, Ont., 160th. Canada was 14th in the team standings.
I was very happy I didnt expect to finish that high, said Gosselin. Ive been in marathon training this year and that really carried me through today.
Photos courtesy of Michael Hall
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