First, the individual drought came to an end. This fall, it was time to snap the aggregate team streak.
Last November, Lasalle Lancers' midget Calum Passi finished third, overall, at the 2017 OFSAA Cross Country Championship, becoming the first local runner to hit the podium at the event since some time prior to 1999.
This past Saturday, a very similar team skid came to an end when the Lo-Ellen Park Knights' midget girls team bettered the feat, by one placement, earning silver on the trails of Christie Lake in Hamilton.
The quartet of Avery Sutherland (11th - 16:48), Alison Symington (33rd - 17:13), Amanda Symington (44th - 17:24) and Maggie Parks (124th - 18:42) - Jill Kusnierczyk (134th- 18:47) served as the the displacer - finished second only to the St Ann'e Eagles from Clinton (southwestern Ontario, near the shores of Lake Huron), the latter showing the way with 178 points versus 212 for the NOSSA champs.
The result kicked off a string of strong local showings on the day.
On an individual basis, it was Calum Passi that would, once again, lead the pack, finishing sixth overall in the junior boys race, just three seconds shy of cracking the podium for a second straight year.
His time of 17:15.9 over the 5+ kilometre course was within shouting distance of bronze medal winner Roman Mironov (17:12.5) of Father John Redmond CSS in Toronto.
In the midget boys event, Confederation Chargers' rookie Ian MacKenzie recorded a 13th place finish, crossing the line in a time of 14:58.9, not all that far at all behind race winner Heath McAllister of Central Secondary School in London (14:25).
From a team perspective, Lo-Ellen continued to excel in the older age groupings, the Knights senior boys and girls finishing fifth and seventh, respectively, in their brackets.
Auggy Marks de Chabris (33rd - 21:01), Nick Lambert (74th - 21:46), Connor Jermyn (104th - 22:11) and Kendyn Mashinter (125th - 22:25) managed to squeeze right in between St. Mary's of Kitchener (274 pts) and Glebe Collegiate Institute of Ottawa (371), posting a team score of 336 in the senior boys race.
Just two spots further down the ladder, the Lo-Ellen girls (Meredith Kusnierczyk - 57th in 25:98; Fiona Symington - 91st in 26:18; Dylann Mazzuchin - 94th in 26:20; Nathalie Marks de Chabris - 101st in 26:27) combined for a total of 343 points, four points better than Vincent Massey Secondary School in Windsor.
Following is a complete breakdown of the individual and team results, for SDSSAA representatives:
Midget Boys Division (266 runners)
13th - Ian MacKenzie (CFD) - 14:58
111th - Patrick Wiss (LOE) - 16:25
187th - Grégoire Fleury (LOE) - 17:22
202nd - Dax Mazzuchin (LOE) - 17:39
208th - Jack Moskalyk (LOE) - 17:43
237th - Callum Bertrand (LOE) - 18:25
Lo-Ellen - team placement - 25th (708)
Midget Girls Division (269 runners)
11th - Avery Sutherland (LOE) - 16:48
33rd - Alison Symington (LOE) - 17:13
44th - Amanda Symington (LOE) - 17:24
124th - Maggie Parks (LOE) - 18:42
127th - Abby Lanteigne (Lockerby) - 18:44
134th - Jill Kusnierczyk (LOE) - 18:47
200th - Jasmine Savignac (LAS) - 20:04
206th - Payton Brear (LAS) - 20:13
230th - Hunter Brear (LAS) - 20:53
242nd - Eleni Allen (LAS) - 21:32
Lo-Ellen - team placement - 2nd (212)
Lasalle - team placement - 37th (878)
Junior Boys Division (274 runners)
6th - Calum Passi (LAS) - 17:15
137th - Austin Mashinter (LOE) - 19:47
182nd - Aleksandre McTaggart (CND) - 20:39
183rd - Braedon Watson (STC) - 20:40
184th - Rowan Mullin Santone (LOE) - 20:41
212th - Ethan Thomas (LOE) - 21:17
216th - Billy McIntyre (LOE) - 21:27
223rd - Evan Bursey (LOE) - 21:34
Lo-Ellen - team placement - 28th (749)
Junior Girls Division (264 runners)
25th - Kalila Bachiu (LOE) - 21:00
80th - Chandyn Bachiu (LOE) - 22:12
157th - Mikayla Oommen (LOE) - 23:46
167th - Emily Binks (Lockerby) - 23:58
177th - Sarah Ieropoli (LOE) - 24:18
184th - Sydney Brooks (LOE) - 24:25
Lo-Ellen - team placement - 11th (439)
Senior Boys Division (281 runners)
33rd - Auggy Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 21:01
74th - Nick Lambert (LOE) - 21:46
104th - Connor Jermyn (LOE) - 22:11
113th - Tony Piro (STB) - 22:16
125th - Kendyn Mashinter (LOE) - 22:25
224th - Max Mahaffy (LOE) - 24:21
Lo-Ellen - team placement - 5th (336)
Senior Girls Division (262 runners)
57th - Meredith Kusnierczyk (LOE) - 25:98
91st - Fiona Symington (LOE) - 26:18
94th - Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE) - 26:20
101st - Nathalie Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 26:27
118th - Jayde Hurley (LOE) - 26:49
136th - Isabella Mastroianni (STB) - 27:11
164th - Jaime Schweyer (MMT) - 28:09
186th - Angela Mozzon (STB) - 28:44
227th - Erika Poirier (STB) - 30:40
229th - Kate Dambremont (STB) - 30:47
Lo-Ellen - team placement - 7th (343)
St Benedict - team placement - 31st (778)
Para Boys Division (29 runners)
12th - Jordan Burke (LOE) - 15:14
17th - Riley Cornthwaite (LAS) - 16:17
Para Girls Division (14 runners)
9th - Brianne Moxam (LAS) - 21:10
14th - Eleni Roumanes (LAS) - 25:16