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PREVIEW: Niagara hopes for running start at Fanshawe College Invitational

PREVIEW: Niagara hopes for running start at Fanshawe College Invitational

The Niagara College cross country team's season is only a two days away and they are ready to get off to a running start. The Fanshawe College Invitational will lead off the 2016 OCAA schedule, as they Knights travel to London for their first competition of the season.

With the team entering their third year of competition, Niagara will field a full complement of women's runners throughout the OCAA schedule. The Knights have seven women on the roster, led by returnee Jennifer Siman (Etobicoke). "We are excited to see our women's cross country team continue to develop and grow as a program," said Director of Athletics & Recreation Matthew Davies. 

On the men's side a strong complement of returnees will lead the team into the season. Malachi Clarke (Severn Bridge), Russell Gibson (Oakville), and Gavin Martin (Beamsville) headline this year's roster. They are joined by five additional runners who are striving to create internal competition throughout the season and improve upon the Knights 10th place finish at least year's OCAA Championship.

With the Fanshawe College Invitational leading off the schedule this weekend, Head Coach Adam Upshaw is excited to see what his runners bring to the table when the competition begins. "We are using this race as a chance to give our rookie runners a taste of college competition, and to set the tone for the rest of the season," said Upshaw.

Between the men's and women's rosters, the team features a representation from a wide varety of the college's academic programs, including Brewmaster, Customs Border Services, Police Foundations, Fitness and Health Promotion, Nursing, and Electrical Engineering.

The format for OCAA Cross Country sees participating schools enter a maximum of six runners per gender to a Championship event. The top four times for each gender are utilized to create a total team time for men's and women's division placements. Individual times are used to determine individual men's and women's medals.

September 17 - Fanshawe Invitational - Fanshawe Conservation Area
October 15 - Seneca College Invitational - Seneca College King Campus
October 29 - OCAA Championship - Seneca College King Campus
November 12 - CCAA Championship - Sault College