11 new members will don maroon in the fall as members of the Marauders cross country and distance track program and 2018-19, as coach Paula Schnurr finalized her recruiting class on July 23.
With considerable losses to graduation following the 2017-18 season, Schnurr and her staff focused much of their recruiting efforts on the women’s side, and will welcome seven new runners to the women’s program, including Renelle Briggs, Caroline Forbes, Hope Harnack, Kendra Hawke, Sarah Turner, Sarah Nolan and Shannon Porter.
“We put a big focus on our women’s recruiting this year,” said Schnurr. “We had so many graduate from last year’s seventh place team at the U Sports Championships, we really needed a strong recruiting class, and I’m so pleased that we got it.”
A Whitby, Ont. native, Briggs (Social Sciences) will lead the rookie women in 2018, after a sixth-placed finish in the 2000m steeplechase at the OFSAA Track and Field Championships this past spring and a 27th overall finish at the OFSAA Cross Country Championships in fall 2017.
For her part, Forbes (Kinesiology) brings championship pedigree to the Marauders, as the leader of the OFSAA cross country champions Sarnia Northern and a 33rd overall finish at that meet.
Already acclimatized to the Mona Campbell Track at McMaster, Cambridge, Ont. runner Harnack (Kinesiology) accomplished a nine-second personal best over 1500m at one of the Marauders twilight meets and will look to build upon it in the season to come.
Showing improvement throughout the summer in races from 1500m to 5000m, the Oshawa, Ont. native Hawke (Engineering) will bring that momentum to the Marauders, and the trails, this fall.
3000m specialists Turner (Engineering) and Nolan (Math & Stats) bring personal best efforts of 10:39 and 10:45 to the event respectively, while Porter (Kinesiology) boasts a 4:59 at her favourite distance of 1500m.
A smaller, selective group joins the already deep Marauders men’s team in 2018, led by Sarnia, Ont. native Andrew Davies (Integrated Business & Humanities), who was a silver medalist at the national junior level in the 5000m event on the track this spring and finished 12th overall in the OFSAA senior boys cross country race in the fall.
Davies is joined in McMaster’s rookie class by Peterborough, Ont.’s Gustav Finley (Business), Whitby, Ont. native Connor Black (Engineering) and Etobicoke, Ont.’s Peter Miniabashian (Engineering).
Finley followed an eighth-placed finish in the 2000m steeplechase at the OFSAA Track and Field Championships by finishing seventh at the Athletic Canada Junior National Championships over 3000m, while fellow steepler Black finished 13th at the OFSAA event while posting personal bests over 800m, 1500m and the 2000m steeplechase.
37th overall at the OFSAA Cross Country Championships in the fall, Miniabashian was an OFSAA qualifier at 3000m on the track, with a personal best of 8:43 at the distance.
McMaster opens the cross country schedule across the border at the University of Buffalo Stampede meet on September 14 before returning to Ontario and their yearly stop at the Thames Valley Golf and Country Club for the Western International.
Source: Fraser Caldwell