By Derek Patterson, Sports and Recreation Editor
The provincial cross-country season ended on the Thames Valley Golf Course of London, Ontario on Saturday, October 27th. Despite the muddy conditions, both the Lakehead Men’s and Women’s teams ran arguably their best races of the season. The Women’s team placed 7th overall with stellar performances from Rebekkah Pyle (10) and Hailee Morisseau (25). The Men’s team ran equally as well placing 8th overall with an excellent showing from Johnathan Stoppa (25) and Derek Patterson (26). Both teams placed higher than last year and two individuals (Rebekkah Pyle and Johnathan Stoppa) qualified for the U Sports Championships held in Kingston this month.
Rebekkah Pyle (Burlington, Ontario)
This will be Pyle’s second opportunity to race at the U Sports Championship since her rookie season in 2017. Rebekkah has proven herself on and off the track, being awarded Ontario University Athletics’ Rookie of the Year for cross country and has returned to Lakehead to prove that once again she will be a strong contender as a collegiate athlete in the years to come. Despite struggling with various injuries throughout part of the summer, Pyle consistently proves that on race day she is ready for action and to run with the top of the pack at the U Sports Championships. She says, “I look forward to U Sports because, as with every race, it will be another chance to improve my racing skills and to see what I can do…[U Sports] will be a good opportunity to implement all the training and learning I have had this season since there will be a lot of high level competition.”
Jonathan Stoppa (Barry’s Bay, Ontario)
Johnathan Stoppa has been blazing the trails this fall, proving himself to be one of the top rookies in the OUA. Despite this being only his first year on the team, Stoppa brings extensive experience to Lakehead boasting a very successful high school career and various high-ranking national performances. Johnathan looks to improve upon his OUA performance at this U Sports Championships saying: “I am excited because this is a great opportunity to race against new and different competitors from across Canada…it will help me develop as an athlete and as a racer, [with] new people to help push me in the race.”