Cross-country champion Pearo runs up another tribute

McMaster cross country runner Jessica Pearo and York soccer player Adrian Pena are the BlackBerry Canadian Interuniversity Sport female and male athletes of the week for the period ending Nov. 14. It is the second time this season that Pearo has been named both the CIS and Ontario University Athletics athlete of the week. She previously won the honour for the week ending Oct. 31.

Pearo, a fourth-year kinesiology student from Richmond Hill became the first Marauder in history to capture individual gold at the CIS championships in Sherbrooke, Que., on Saturday. The 21-year-old completed the five-kilometre race in 17 minutes and 40 seconds – a full 10 seconds ahead of her closest competitor – to lift the McMaster women to a school-best second place in the team standings. Pearo, who had placed fifth at the 2009 CIS meet, 12th in 2008 and 11th in 2007, also became a four-time all-Canadian in as many seasons.

Moncton hockey player Mariève Provost, UQAM basketball player Michelle Auger-Bellemare and Saskatchewan cross country runner Caitlin Warkentin were also nominated for the women’s award.

Pena, a third-year kinesiology and health science student from Woodbridge was named MVP of the CIS championship after he helped the Lions claim a second Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy in three years, and the third in team history. The 6-foot, 180-pound all-Canadian striker enjoyed a magical weekend in Toronto as he scored both York goals and the penalty kicks winner in a 3-2 quarter-final win over Laval, tallied the lone marker in 1-0 victory over Saint Mary’s in the semifinal round, and once again accounted for all the scoring in a 1-0 shutout of UBC in the title match.

Cape Breton basketball player Phillip Nkrumah and UBC soccer player Gagandeep Dosanjh were the other male nominees.