In the 57-year history of the provincial high school cross-country running championships, there had never been an athlete from a Kingston-area school win back-to-back titles.
Saturday, there were almost two.
Cameron Linscott of Kingston Collegiate successfully defended his senior boys crown, with a five-second victory over Riley Tell of Father Leo A. Austin of Whitby. In the event before that, Brogan MacDougall, of Regiopolis Notre Dame, was second in the senior girls race.
Linscott crossed the finish line of the 6.85-kilometre course at Highlands Nordic in Duntroon, near Collingwood, in 23 minutes 53.52 seconds. He became the third person to successfully defend an OFSAA senior boys title in the last 15 years, following, most recently, Yves Sikubwabo of Ottawa Glebe, who turned the trick in 2010-11.
Linscott’s title was the ninth by a local competitor at an OFSAA cross-country championship. All of them have come since Frontenac’s Emily Tallen won the first, a midget girls crown, in 1994.
Tallen was the only previous double-gold medalist from the area, following her midget championship with the senior girls title in 1997.
The midget girls champion in 2014, MacDougall skipped the junior classification to move directly to senior this year, and she finished in 18 minutes 47.38 seconds, a little more than 22 seconds behind the winner of the 4.955-kilometre race, Madeleine Ghazarian of Cambridge Preston.
Ghazarian stopped the clock in 18:25.12.
Branna MacDougall, Brogan’s older sister—and the OFSAA senior girls champion a year ago—finished fifth in 19:13.45. Together with Cristina Tavares, who finished 115th in the 278-girl field, and Emma Adshade, who was 164th, they led Regi to a fourth-place finish in team standings, 20 points behind the bronze medalist, Bishop Strachan of Toronto.
In senior boys division, KC finished fifth, with Alex Drover finishing 35th (24:37.75), Reilly Lacasandile 66th (25:11.13) and Graeme Workman 214th of 277 competitors.
Led by Paul Sagriff, who was 15th (23:52.32) and Paul Bates, who was 114th (26:07.52), Regi finished 16th of 38 senior boys teams.
Two Kingston Area runners were in the Top 20 of the junior boys race. Jack Rowlett of Frontenac was 17th, completing the 5.985-kilometre course in 21 minutes 45.39 seconds, and Hunter Leonard of KC was 20th in 22:00.09. Max Taylor of Holy Cross was 82nd, Brennan Laidman of Frontenac was 108th and Carter Free of Napanee was 148th in the 280-runner field. Frontenac finished 13th among 37 junior boys teams.
KC’s Jackie Quesnel was 61st in the senior girls race (21:50.48).
Nora Bright of Rideau District was the top local runner in the junior girls race, finishing 77th; while in midget boys division three Kingston-area athletes finished in the top half of 270-competitor field—Jack Smith of Regi, who was 35th, Miles Brackenbury of KC, who was 59th, and Chet Moran of Loyalist, who was 156th.
Megan Jefferies of Holy Cross was 58th in the midget girls race, 3:33.96,while Hanna Amari of KC was 135th.
Regi’s Nathan Nowak was 11th in the mixed para race.