Two local products are counted in the field of key recruits for McMaster’s 2010-11 Ontario University Athletics cross country track and field season.
The recruiting class of Ontario athletes includes Duke Lloyd (Dundas), Eric Labelle (Oakville), Megan Beverley (Toronto), Jordan Bierema (Uxbridge), Eric Barry (St. Thomas), Katie Schurr (Arva), and Pauline Skowron (Bolton).
“It is going to be challenging for the rookies to make an immediate contribution and make the OUA and/or CIS squad in cross country, but I think a few of them could be there by season’s end,” said McMaster cross country head coach Rory Sneyd.
Beverley hails from Leaside High School where she was the 1,500m champion at the 2008 Ontario Federation of Athletic Associations finals. She also represented Canada at the 2009 World Youth Track and Field Championship held in Breassane, Italy.
“[Megan’s] strength over 1,500m and 800m will make her an excellent addition to last year’s CIS bronze medal winning 4x800m relay team,” said McMaster track and field head coach Paula Schnurr.
Although fairly new to the sport, Medway High School’s Katie Schurr was the third fastest finalist in the open girls 1,500m steeplechase at the 2010 OFSAA West Regional Track and Field meet championship.
Skowron comes to McMaster from Robert F. Hall Collegiate HS in Bolton where she placed fifth at the 2010 Ontario Junior Triathlon Championhip.
On the men’s side, Bierema also shows immense potential after finishing 17th at the 2009 OFSAA Cross Country Championship, 13th at the 2010 OFSAA Track and Field Championship in the open boys steeplechase, and third at the 2010 OFSAA Central Region Track and Field finale in steeplechase.
“Of our rookies on the men’s side, I think Jordan has the best shot of vying for a spot in our top seven,” said coach Sneyd. “He is hard-working and I expect that he will come in prepared and motivated to make an immediate impact.”
St. Joseph’ Collegiate High School graduate Barry was the sixth fastest athlete in the senior 800m and 1,500m races at the 2010 OFSAA West Region and he placed 27th at the youth Ontario Cross Country Championship.
Hometown athlete Lloyd, who attended Highland Secondary School, raced to fourth at the 2010 OFSAA South Region Track and Field meet in the 2000m steeplechase.
Labelle, the final recruit on the men’s side, won the silver medal at the 2010 OFSAA South Region Track and Field Championship in the 3000m event.
In addition to the promising group of rookie athletes, a trio of former All-Canadians in both cross country and track will be attending McMaster although they are unlikely to suit up for the Marauders until 2011.
As a member of the University of Guelph Gryphons, Lindsay Carson (Cambridge), was the 2007 OUA and CIS women’s cross country champion and is a three-time medallist at the CIS Cross Country Championship.
On the men’s side, incoming graduate students Braden Novakowski (Kingston) and Deng Marial (London) bring with them some impressive credentials. Competing for Queen’s University, Novakowski won the 2006 OUA Cross Country Championship on his home course. He also captured two silver medals at the CIS Track and Field Championship in the 1,500m in 2006 and the 1,000m in 2008.
Competing for the University of Windsor Lancers, Marial placed ninth at the 2007 CIS Cross Country Championship and earned a berth in the 2008 FISU World University Cross-Country Championship in Mauquenchy, France.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the incoming rookies and the experienced veterans,” said Schnurr.
The McMaster women’s team, led by All-Canadian Jessica Pearo (Richmond Hill, Ont.), placed third at the 2009 CIS Championship to record the program’s best finish yet. The McMaster women also finished with a provincial best last season when they claimed the silver medal at the OUA Championship.
The McMaster men’s cross country team placed eighth at the 2009 CIS Championship, their best finish since 2000.
“The range of talent will continue to strengthen both our cross country and indoor track teams,” Schnurr added.
McMaster 2010/2011 Cross Country / Track and Field Recruiting Class
– 2008 OFSAA Junior Girls 1500m champion
– Fourth in senior girls 1500m at 2009 OFSAA Track & Field Championship
– Represented Canada at the 2009 World Youth Track and Field Championship held in Bressanone, Italy
– 14th at 2009 OFSAA Cross Country Championships; 13th at 2008 OFSAA XC
– 11th in open girls 1500m steeplechase at 2010 OFSAA Track & Field Championship
– Third in open girls 1500m steeplechase at 2010 OFSAA West Regional Track & Field Championship
Robert F. Hall CHS
– Sixth in senior girls 3000m at 2010 OFSAA South Region Track & Field Championship
– Placed 5th at 2010 Ontario Junior Triathlon Championship
– 17th at 2009 OFSAA Cross Country Championship
– 13th at 2010 OFSAA Track & Field Championship in open boys steeplechase
– Third at 2010 OFSAA Central Region Track & Field Championship in steeplechase
St. Joseph’s CHS
– Sixth at 2010 OFSAA West Region Track and Field Championship in senior 800m and 1500m
– 27th at 2010 Ontario Cross Country Championship (Youth)
– Fourth at 2010 OFSAA South Region Track and Field Championship in 2000m steeplechase
– 11th at 2010 Canadian Junior Championship in 3000m steeplechase
Holy Trinity CHS
– Second at 2010 OFSAA South Region Track and Field Championship in 3000m
– 16th at 2010 OFSAA Track and Field Championship in 3000m
– 2010 Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference (GHAC) champion in 1500m and 3000m.