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Newmarket Huskies take the podium at Ontario cross-country championships

The club's pandemic training regime paid off, with 13 runners and teams winning, and another 13 ranking in the top 10

Runners from the Newmarket Huskies Track Club did well at the Central Ontario Cross-Country Championships hosted by Athletics Ontario earlier this month in Markham.

Of about 50 Newmarket runners at the event, 13 individuals and teams made it to the podium. Another 13 ranked in the top 10 of their races.

Jessica Shaw won first place in the Masters 4K in the 30 to 34 age group and second place among Masters women of all ages.

"I think we were excited even to have the opportunity to race this season. It was such an unforeseeable future in terms of our training at the moment," said Shaw. 

"But as a whole, we have done an impeccable job of creating a safe environment for training this year. So it was nice to be able to showcase everything we have been working toward."

The Huskies created a pandemic training regimen that incorporated physically distancing runners, as well as pre-workout screening where coaches checked athletes for COVID-19 symptoms. Runners also wore face masks.

"Our head coach, Derek Hackshaw, presented that awesome plan and made us all feel safe," said Shaw.

Even though they were able to train, the Huskies were not sure if there would be any championships to go to this year until Athletics Ontario announced its plan for how the event could go ahead.

Prescreening and masks were mandatory at the event, and runners were sent out in waves to keep them separate and cut down on the amount of passing.  

"It was set up more like a time trial," explained Shaw.

"I was really excited to have an opportunity to race. Once I saw how everything was planned out, I was very reassured."

Newmarket runners who placed in the top 10 of their races:

  • Oliver Foisy - U8 Boys 1K - 6th place
  • Huskies U14 Girls Team - 4th place
  • Huskies U14 Boys Team - 4th place
  • Huskies U16 Girls Team - 5th place
  • Abby Ylipahkala - U18 Girls 6K - 8th place
  • Huskies U18 Girls Team - 6th place
  • Mathias Mercier - U18 Boys 6K - 3rd place
  • Huskies U18 Boys Team - 2nd place
  • Huskies U20 Boys Team - 1st place
  • Dakota Goguen - U20 Boys 6K - 2nd place
  • Joshua Thomas Boston - U20 Boys 6K - 3rd place
  • Aidan Parke - U20 Boys 6K - 7th place
  • Jeanue Chung - U20 Boys 6K - 9th place
  • Emily-Rose Boston - Open Women 8K - 2nd place
  • Connor Macintosh - Open Men 8K - 3rd place
  • Joey Stel - Open Men 8K - 5th place
  • Estaban Clvijo - Open Men 8k - 9th place
  • Huskies Open Male Team - 2nd place
  • Stephen Holmes - Maskers 4K (men) - 2nd place
  • Derek Hackshaw - Masters 4K (men) - 5th place
  • Geoffrey Peat - Masters 4K (men) - 9th place
  • Dave Tepper - Masters 4K (men) - 10th place
  • Jessica Shaw - Masters 4K (women) - 2nd
  • Kelly Senk - Masters 4K (women) - 3rd place
  • Huskies Masters Men's Team - 2nd place
  • Huskies Masters Women's Team - 1st place