Sanders, McDonald pace Mac cross country teams

Lionel Sanders and Maddy McDonald made successful season debuts as the McMaster Marauders cross country teams competed at the Vic Matthews Open in Guelph on Saturday (Sept. 29).

McMaster’s men were bolstered by the return of Sanders, as Connor Darlington, Taylor Reid, Austen Forbes and Jordan Bierema were held out of the team’s second race of the season. The third-year team leader scored first for McMaster on Saturday, finishing fifth in the men’s eight-kilometre race with a time of 31:44.3.

Coach Rory Sneyd praised the run of fourth-year Eric Barry on Saturday. (Photo: Pete Self/McMaster Athletics)

Taylor Forbes scored second in his season debut, crossing the line 14th in 32:22.7, while Blair Morgan followed three places later to score third. Rookie Paul Rochus and fourth-year Eric Barry each enjoyed performances that coach Rory Sneyd singled out as excellent, finishing 25th and 36th respectively.

Gabe Ghiglione (29) and Ivan Meizinger (41) were the Marauders remaining scorers, as McMaster’s men finished third among Canadian Interuniversity Sport teams at the event.

The Marauder women also benefitted from the return of their top runner – Maddy McDonald. She did not disappoint in her first race of the fall season, scoring first for McMaster after completing the women’s five-kilometre course in 20:53.2 and finishing eighth.

Kierstyn Myers placed 27th to score second, while rookie Emily Nowak finished five positions later to score third. Sneyd praised the runs of sophomores Raquel Burgess and Maddy Benjamin, who finished 41st and 46th respectively to contribute to McMaster’s score on the day.

Charlotte Ward (45) and Adrienne Morgan (51) completed the scoring for the Marauders, who finished sixth as a team.

Veteran Courtney Patterson, McMaster’s top scorer from a week earlier, and rookie Phoebe Cseresnyes were held out of competition on Saturday.

A Marauder split-squad will travel to Waterloo to compete this coming weekend, before the team returns to full strength to compete in Montreal on Oct. 12.