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Connor Black and Julie-Anne Staehli won the 2022 Canadian Cross Country Championships at Mooney’s Bay on the Rideau River in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday. The championships help Athletics Canada choose a team to go to the World Cross Country Championships taking place in Bathurst, Australia on February 18, 2023. Canada will be sending up to six athletes per event.

The two were crowned Canadian Cross Country Champions for the first time, however, Black did win the 2018 USport national title when competing for the Calgary Dinos.  

Black, who hails from Forest, Ont., defeated the defending champion John Gay of Vancouver, who is a 2020 Tokyo Olympian in the 3000m steeplechase. They raced together, but it was the final lap of the five-lap, 10K race where Black dropped his competitors. By the time the race was over, Black had created an 11-second gap stopping the clock at 29:38 to 29:49.

Max Turek took third in the time of 30:01.

The top 40-plus master was Brian Torrence who is at least 45, he won the 8K race in the time of 27:51.

  1. Connor Black — 29:38
  2. John Gay — 29:48
  3. Max Turek — 30:01
  4. Phil Parrot-Migas — 30:05
  5. Mitch Ubene — 30:08

Staehli was ranked as one of the top athletes leading into the race, but the win was a small surprise. On Sept. 11, the 28-year-old won a road 5K in Moncton, NB in the time of 15:55 for a new personal best. The Lucknow, Ontario native did one better last week with a 15:33 performance. Lucknow is situated 200 kilometres west of Toronto on the edge of Lake Huron, where she spent time running on the back roads growing up there. Her 5000m best is 14:57.50, so she was certainly a top-rated athlete entering the race.

The Mark Coogan-coached athlete won in the time of 34:12. Vancouver’s Natalia Hawthorn took second in the time of 34:34, while Victoria’s Katelyn Ayers took third in the time of 34:48.

Calgary’s Maria Bernard-Galea took fifth after having led during the early kms, giving way late to St. John’s Newfoundland’s Kate Bazely who is age 38, who is a 35-plus masters category athlete, so hit the podium in that category.

The 40-plus master’s category race was won by Victoria’s Jen Millar, defending her 2021 title.

  1. Julie-Anne Staehli — 34:12
  2. Natalia Hawthorn — 34:34
  3. Katelyn Ayers — 34:48
  4. Kate Bazeley — 34:57
  5. Maria Bernard-Galea — 35:13

In the junior men’s race, Roman Mironov and Jude Wheeler-Dee tied and temporarily held hands as the two U20 athletes approached the finish line. They are both credited with finishing in the time of 25:13, while the third-place finisher was Rudy Saal who stopped the clock at 25:19 over the 8K course. All three are from Ontario.

In the U20 women’s race Erin Vringer of New Brunswick won in the time of 21:55. Finishing in second and third place was Quebec’s Marika Couture in 22:53 and Ella Ballard from Victoria, BC finished two seconds back.

Full results are available here>>

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