A SDSSAA runner cracks OFSAA X-C podium for first time in two decades
by Randy Pascal
Lively native and Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School graduate Ross Proudfoot has a CIS cross-country gold medal and a pair of Canadian Open
Men's cross-country championships to his name.
Unfortunately, he also never medalled at the provincial high school cross country championships while representing the Knights, earning a best ever seventh place finish
in his final year in Sudbury.
In fact, one has to go all the way back to the mid-1990’s, with the likes of Ryan Bradshaw and Devon Kershaw carrying SDSSAA hopes, that
one can find a local runners who has stepped on to the podium at the event (Bradshaw captured gold in the Midget Boys race in 1994).
All of this adds a little perspective to the performance of Lasalle Lancers' midget runner Calum Passi, who earned bronze at the 2017
championships in Petawawa on Saturday. Covering the four kilometre course in a time of 13:12, Passi would finish behind only Rudy Sall of Jeanne
Lajoie in Pembroke (13:10) and race winner Roman Mironov of Father Redmond in Etobicoke (13:07).
"In the city and NOSSA race, I was, for the majority, running alone up front with nobody to push me," noted Passi, relaxing back home on Sunday evening.
"The first kilometre was crazy, you could hear the ground rumbling."
"There were so many amazing runners that were there, guys who are just as fast as you, or faster than you, pushing you the whole way." While the race
marked the inaugural OFSAA event for the teen who is likely to make an annual visit or two, Passi did benefit from the wisdom and experience of a pair of
gentlemen who have been down this road before.
"(Coach) Darren (Jermyn) gave me a game plan," acknowledged Passi. "He wanted to see what I could do, and I wanted to see what I was made of. He
said go out hard, don't get boxed in, and try and stick with that top ten and twenty group, and just hang with them."
"During the race, both he and my brother (Laurentian varsity cross-country runner Liam Passi) were sprinting across the course, yelling at me when
to go, and that helped a lot. All I had to do was listen."
Smashing his personal best time in Mattawa by roughly eighty seconds, Passi recalled the final few minutes of a race where the top three were separated
by a total of just five seconds.
"There was about 800 metres to go and the kid in first place was really strong," said Passi. "He looked good, he took off and he was pretty much gone.
Fourth place was closing in on me, but I gapped him on the hill."
"Coming down the hill, second place was right in front of me, I was right there. I decided to sprint and I passed second, but he was holding on for a
finishing kick and got me in the last 100 metres."
Other locals cracking the top fifty included Austin Mashinter of Lo-Ellen (34th – MB – 14:00) and André Larocque of Collège Notre Dame
(38th – JB – 19:53). The Lo-Ellen Park junior girls narrowly missed finishing in the top three in the aggregate team total, registering 250 points, just
eight back of a bronze medal placement.
Amazingly, the entire quartet of Dylann Mazzuchin, Delaney Bourget, Fiona Symington and Meredith Kusnierczyk were squeezed in between 56th
and 67th place, with St Benedict junior Isabella Mastroianni (52nd – 23:47) just slightly ahead in leading a very talented local representation in
that age bracket.
Covering a three kilometre course in a time of 16:13, Jordan Burke of Lo-Ellen ranked eighth in a field of twelve para runners who competed.
Following is a complete list of the SDSSAA athletes who competed at OFSAA, along with their results:
Sydney Tarini (LOE) - 26:37 (81st)
Jayde Hurley (LOE) - 27:11 (116th)
Nathalie Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 27:38 (141st)
Jaime Schweyer (MMT) - 29:00 (194th)
Katherine Keenan (LCS) - 29:11 (199th)
Eden Santi (LOE) - 29:12 (200th)
Lauren Thomas (LOE) - 29:14 (201st)
Augustin Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 21:46 (64th)
Connor Jermyn (LOE) - 22:50 (129th)
Josh Tillson (LOE) - 23:07 (147th)
Tony Piro (STB) - 23:30 (166th)
Lucas Mrozewski (LOE) - 23:58 (192nd)
Jacob Socransky (LOE) - 24:44 (226th)
Isabella Mastroianni (STB) - 23:47 (52nd)
Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE) - 23:51 (56th)
Delaney Bourget (LOE) - 24:05 (61st)
Meredith Kusnierczyk (LOE) - 24:16 (66th)
Fiona Symington (LOE) - 24:18 (67th)
Anne-Marie Sakki (LOE) - 27:12 (187th)
Sydney Wachnuk (LAS) - 28:39 (218th)
Karine Boucher (CND) - 30:08 (234th)
Kya Weiman (CND) - 30:10 (235th)
Martina Begic (CND) - 31:54 (245th)
André Larocque (CND) - 19:53 (38th)
Kendyn Mashinter (LOE) - 20:21 (77th)
Ayden Trudeau (ESMC) - 21:29 (149th)
Jeremy McNamara (CND) - 21:33 (154th)
Philippe de la Riva (CND) - 22:22 (200th)
Sebastien Bouchard (CND) - 24:55 (255th)
Ophélie Bruneau (CND) - 16:57 (98th)
Kristen Mrozewski (LOE) - 17:14 (119th)
Emily Binks (LCS) - 17:52 (167th)
Sarah Ieropoli (LOE) - 18:54 (211th)
Mikayla Oommen (LOE) - 19:05 (215th)
Brooke Vrbanic (LOE) - 19:36 (232nd)
Sidney Mantle (LOE) - 19:59 (244th)
Calum Passi (LAS) - 13:12 (3rd)
Austin Mashinter (LOE) - 14:00 (34th)
Ethan Thomas (LOE) - 14:44 (118th)
Jérémi Aubin (CND) - 15:09 (159th)
Sean Potts (CND) - 15:16 (171st)
Samuel Branconnier (CND) - 15:38 (202nd)
Jordan Piccoli (CND) - 16:02 (219th)
Hunter Clarke (LOE) - 16:11 (226th)
Sidney Osmond (CND) - 16:21 (23th)
Evan Gervais (LOE) - 16:58 (251st)
Jacob Giroux (LOE) - 17:08 (256th)