Manitoulin Island runners prove to be among best in province for another year

Manitoulin runner Maren Kasunich, left, finished in third place in the 2021 Athletics Ontario cross-country championships held November 14. Ms. Kasunich competed in the under 16 girls four-kilometre race. She was also recently a member of the Manitoulin Secondary School championship junior girls cross-country team at the all-Ontario OFSAA finals.

KINGSTON – Three Manitoulin Island runners have again proved their mettle against the best young runners in Ontario.

“I only had three runners go with me but we had a good day,” stated coach Gerry Holliday who took three runners, Maren Kasunich, Brodie Pennie and Xavier Mara, (all of them also members of this year’s Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Mustangs cross-country team) to the 2021 Athletics Ontario Cross-Country Championships held in Kingston on November 14. All three runners represented Track North in this recent competition.

“Maren finished in third place to take the bronze medal in the under 16 girls four-kilometre race (in a time of 14:26),” said Mr. Holliday. “She outpaced the girl who finished second in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA championships) over the last 100 metres to finish third. I didn’t think Maren was going to be able to catch her, but she did.” 

Mr. Holliday pointed out in the U16 girls four-kilometre race, “the girl that won OFSAA won here as well, and the girl that finished second seemed to come out of nowhere; she hadn’t run in OFSAA.”

“Brodie and Xavier also had good strong runs,” said Mr. Holliday. Mr. Pennie finished 17th in the U16 boys four-kilometre race (in a time of 13:48, with Xavier Mara finishing 77th in a time of 15:49.

“Overall, the quality of runners in this event was an even higher calibre than it was for the OFSAA championship,” said Mr. Holliday.