TORONTO - The Rams men and women cross country teams continue to show their steady improvement placing sixth and eight respectively in the University of Toronto Pre-OUA Invitational held at centennial Park in Etobicoke this past weekend.

Under unseasonably warm and muggy conditions, Rebecca Verlaan had a huge race placing 8th overall in the field of 71 women in a time of 18.46.  Also having season breakout races were Anna Cianni in 27th in 20.20 and Megan Gaudette in 33rd in 20.54 and Melinda Marghetis in 34th in 21.05. Hailey Salvian rounded out the team scorers in 40th place in 22.17,edging out teammate Kaitlynn Sanger who was 41st in 22.26. Caroline Fischer placed 42nd followed by Miriam Bruening in 43rd place.

The team average pace of 24.08 per kilometre is a team record bettering the 20.42 they set at the Western International earlier this fall. Unable to compete due to injury were key runners Sylvie Antoun and Amanda Hummel.  

Not be outdone, Joel Perera-Satgunem  continued his breakthrough season with another seasonal best of 26.55 over the 8km course to place 19th overall. He was followed closely by Mike Konstantopoulos who also had a personal best of 27.22, placing 23rd. Rounding out the team scorers were Aaron McQuaid with a personal best of 28.19 in 39th place, Ben Snider-McGrath 29.22 in 45th place, Valerian Gomes in 29.51 in 39th place .

Their average team pace of 28.21 betters the team mark of 28.42 at the Western International. Solid performances were also turned in Selva Yogarajah with 31.01 in 50th place, Mac Bauer 31.46 in 51st, Jeff Lee 31.58 in 52nd place, Eric Danelon 32.07 in 54th, Steve Rocha 33.26 in 57th and Sameer Naumani in 34.15 in  58th.  

“We have been very pleased with the progress the teams are continuing to show and the fighting spirit they are showing in the races, really digging down and fighting for every spot,” commented coaches Dell’Apa and Uuksulainen.