Led by an incredible break-through performance by Chris Nagle, the London Runner Distance Club Senior Mens team turned heads in Guelph on Saturday by taking a surprise 3rd place at the AGSI Canadian Cross Country Championships. Fielding a huge squad, LRDC athletes and training partners were very visible as they put 6 athletes from the London training group in the top-50 of this very strong field. With the first 4 athletes counting for the team, London Runner scored a solid 126 points. Though still a ways back of the top-2 squads - Speed River and Prairie Inn Harriers - the London men felt no shame, as both of the top squads included Olympians and Nationally carded athletes.
In his 2nd decade as a competitive runner, 27-year-old Chris Nagle took several big scalps in placing 13th overall - a significant improvement from his previous best Canadian Championship placing of 39th. Considering his comparitively modest personal best times from road and track races, this stirring performance is already inspiring club teammates to aspire towards similar levels of post-collegiate success.
Buoyed by this bronze medal performance, and backed by several top-10 placings at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, 2009 will mark the year that the London Runner Distance Club emerged as a signifcant force on the Canadian distance scene.
LRDC Senior Men 10k Results
13 Chris Nagle 31:02.0
23 Kyle O'Neill 31:25.6
24 Robert Kitz (UTTC) 31:26.1
43 Ryan Huff (Dis) 32:20.2
44 Adrian Walton 32:21.3
46 Brandon Laan 32:27.0
56 Brent Smith 32:50.4
73 Nathan de Witt 33:32.6
76 Alexey Strokach 34:03.4
79 Matt Suda 34:23.2
84 Ben Perks 34:54.6
Team 3rd place 126 points
"I didn't realize that we were in contention for a medal until the last lap when someone shouted at me that each spot mattered. I was
almost in disbelief when I heard that we'd come third; it really gave me a feeling of pride and appreciation for our team." -Adrian Walton (2008 and 2009 Ontario 5,000m Champion)
"It's encouraging to see the club doing well, expanding in numbers, and making a name for itself on the national scene." -Kyle O'Neill (2009 CIS XC All-Canadian)
"What unbelievable support! There wasn't a spot on the course that I didn't hear someone cheering us on. Winning the bronze was a fantastic validation for our club and the senior men's group. Things have just snowballed with our group this year, and I think we're really beginning to see ourselves as one of the better training groups out there." -Chris Nagle (LRDC top-scorer at 2009 Canadian Cross Country Championships)
"This is what we've been working towards these past 4 years - not just the athletes and coaches, but the entire London Runner community. We've been trying to build up something special here in London, and the performance of these men today...it gives meaning to the sacrifices made." Head Coach Steve Weiler
Full results available at: www.guelphrunning.ca