Tomorrow at the Guelph Arboretum, the University of Guelph will host the strongest non-championship Canadian cross country meet of the year. 15 London Runner Distance Club athletes are scheduled to take part: 9 running in the LRDC blue, while the other 6 compete for their current schools.
A small group on the womens side will see Lauren Prufer in her 2nd xc race of the fall, following a strong 5th place performance at the Queens Open two weeks ago. In Guelph, Prufer will be joined by Karen Gilbert Tyssen as well as 2013 Canadian Junior T&F competitor Stefanie Smith, who will be racing for the University of Windsor. Later this fall, Prufer and Gilbert Tyssen will be joined by several other LRDC women - including Canadian Championship medalists Leslie Sexton and Courtney Laurie - as they look to challenge for the Ontario XC Championship team title.
The men will have 12 club members on the start line, including several athletes capable of finishing in the top-25 of this deep field. Running for the host Guelph Gryphons, Aaron Hendrikx is expected to contend at the front of the field. Racing for Fanshawe College, Clint Smith will be making his 10k XC debut after two dominant wins on the college scene earlier this month. Shane Roberts, Elliot de Lange, and Eric Barry will each repesent their respective schools, while the remaining 7 LRDC entries will run under the club colours - one of only two clubs to enter full Mens teams. Kyle O'Neill and Brent Smith are expected to lead the charge of those in LRDC blue, and will be looking to see how they stack up against some of the top collegiate and post-collegiate talent in Ontario. Like Prufer, Paul Cochrane will look to follow up on a strong (6th) showing at the Queen's XC meet - his first post-collegiate XC race, not to mention his first XC race in several years - and will be joined on the start line by Matt Suda, Benjamin Burr, Jonathan Jones, and Chris Taylor. Many from this group are looking to compete at the Ontario XC Championship and contend for the win, alongside their senior female teammates.
Photo: Teammates Matt Suda and Ben Burr competing at 2012 Ontario XC Championships