By Keaton Robbins
The Humber women’s and men’s cross country teams finished first and second respectively this past weekend at the Humber Invitational.
It was the first annual Humber Invitational cross country meet, and the race serves as a tuneup for provincials.
What made the men’s second place finish impressive to observers was the fact the team was missing its captain, Jesse Bruce, due to an ankle injury.
Bruce told Humber News that the Invitational will be a good trial for when Humber hosts Nationals next year.
“It was amazing to see because a lot of people were fighting for a place on the provincial and national teams. Provincials take our top seven, and nationals our top six runners,” Bruce said.
Bruce also said he was very impressed at the intensity both teams brought.
“A few people knew it might be their last race, so they really fought,” Bruce said. “Our women really made a big statement to the other teams right before provincials, just dominating our home course.”
First year runner Katherine White said the Humber women’s team sent a message to every school by finishing 20 points ahead of the pack.
The first year fitness and health student finished fifth with a time of 19 minutes and 20 seconds.
When asked if the women were prepared for provincials next weekend, White responded with a confident laugh, saying, “Oh yeah, we’re ready.”
Darren Mancini, a third year veteran, who finished 17th with a time of 26 minutes and 12 seconds, said he’s very happy with the men’s second place finish.
“Second is the way to go right now because Fanshawe is so strong this year, just like every other year,” Mancini, the third year sports management student, told Humber News. “We’re missing two of our athletes Jesse Bruce and Dom Kemboi due to injuries, but they’ll be running for us next weekend at provincials.”
Bruce has been a vocal leader, and poster boy for Humber cross country for over three years now, while Kemboi is considered one of Humber’s most promising first year runners.
“Everybody’s pumped and everyone’s going to make sure that they’re healthy this week,” Mancini said. “We’re going to be ready this Saturday for provincials in Sault Saint Marie.”