LONDON, Ont. - Last year, Joel Perera-Satgunem was not happy with his debut race at this meet hosted by Western University and vowed he would do better. The newly appointed captain of the men’s team did just that racing 27.00 over the challenging 8 km course, knocking a whopping 3 minutes of his previous time.
The inspired Rams team of Mike Konstantopoulos, Ben Snider-McGrath, Aaron McQuaid, Valerian Gomes, Kevin Malas, Matt Wahl, Mackenzie Bauer, Selva Yogarajah and Jeff Lee raced to 13th place and 44 points better than last year. The race was won by Western.
The women showed they too are ready to crack the top 10 in the OUA in 2016, placing 12th, a scant 5 points from 10th spot. Rebecca Verlaan showed she is ready to join the elite women in the conference placing 26th with strong time of 19.02, followed by teammate and captain Sylvie Antoun and the ever improving group of Anna Cianni, Melinda Marghetis and Hannah Park. First year rookies Meghan Gaudette and Caroline Fischer both gave strong efforts in helping the team lower its average team pace from 4.22 per km to 4.08. The University of Guelph took the women’s team title.
Coaches Albert Dell’Apa and Tim Uuksulainen were both very pleased with both the men and women’s overall performances.
“This meet is always a good measuring stick for the OUA finals as every top team is here. Our goal for 2016 for both teams is to make top 10 ranking in the OUA. There is a lot to be optimistic about when we are firing on all cylinders. We were missing starters Amanda Hummel and Kaitlynn Sanger, both nursing injuries. We are also hopeful that veteran Hailey Salvian who has struggled a bit, can find the groove she had last year when she was consistently one of our best runners."
The Rams next race will be on October 16 in Toronto on the pre-OUA Course hosted by the University of Toronto.