Track North Athletic Club’s Ross Proudfoot won his first national championship this weekend by taking the gold medal in the Junior Men’s (19 and under) ASGI Canadian Cross-Country Running Championships, held in Guelph.
Competing on a snow-covered eight-kilometre course, Proudfoot made a decisive move with just more than 1.5 kilometres left in the race to take the lead and eventually win the race in a time of 24:27. Luc Bruchet of British Columbia finished in place second, 10 seconds behind Proudfoot.
As a result of his finish, Proudfoot claimed a spot on the national team that will compete at the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean) Cross-Country Championships next February in Trinidad and the World Cross-Country Championships next March in Spain.
“I stuck to my game plan going into the race,” Proudfoot said, following the event. “I ran with the lead group of runners for the first five kilometres of the race and by that point the lead pack was down to three runners. I knew I didn’t want to leave it to a final kick so I made my move with about a mile to go to the finish. I pushed hard over the final 500 metres of the race and up the final hill to ensure I was clear.
“I’m extremely happy to have won my first ever national championship and to get another chance to represent Canada at international competitions.”
“Ross has had a truly dream season,” Track North coach Darren Jermyn said in a press release. “He was the OUA and CIS rookie of the year and became the first university rookie to ever win the Western International.
“I’ve seen him win medals at a lot of major track and cross-country competitions, but today’s performance was perhaps his most impressive as he not only used his outstanding fitness, but he ran a tactically perfect race.”
Jermyn added that Proudfoot came in 14th at the same race last year. The gold medal makes Proudfoot the first Track North athlete to win a national cross-country title.