Rookie surprise

First-year posts fastest time at Fort Henry race

Head coach Steve Boyd says he expects the men to reach the national podium this season.
Head coach Steve Boyd says he expects the men to reach the national podium this season.
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Head coach Steve Boyd said he was expecting big performances from his rookies this season, but Dave Cashin’s run at the Queen’s Invitational on Saturday still came as a surprise. Cashin was Queen’s fastest runner in the inaugural five-kilometre relay event.

The men’s A team finished first in the relay event, while the men’s B team placed second and the women’s A team came in third. Teams from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo also came to Fort Henry to compete.

Cashin, who ran for the B team, ran the five kilometres in 15.33 minutes — the fastest on the Queen’s team and third-fastest overall.

“I didn’t put him on the A team because he didn’t look that overwhelmingly strong in workouts,” Boyd said. “But he’s a funny guy, he didn’t even time himself. He just went out and ran.”

Boyd said the team was impressed by Cashin’s mental focus in his first-ever interuniversity race.

“Some of the guys were joking that he meditates before the race,” he said. “It was a spectacular performance for a young guy.”

Running for the first-place men’s A team were Clay Patterson, Cody Beals, Ollie Hatheway, and Nick McGraw. On the women’s side, Stephanie Hulse had the third fastest leg in the competition to lead the team to a third-place finish. Veronica Allen, Alecia Kallos, and Theresa Fritz-Endres also ran for the women’s A team.

Boyd said the new Queen’s competition could have been better.

“It probably could have been more exciting if we had better teams coming in from Guelph,” he said, adding many schools didn’t send their best teams because of the high travel costs associated with preseason events.

The men’s team posted strong finishes despite the absence of key runners Maxime LeBoeuf, Jeff Costen and Jeff Archer, who missed out because of injury.

“I expect them all to be on the championship team,” Boyd said. “They’re potentially fitter than anyone who ran, so we’re very strong and deep.”

Although the national championships are over a month away, Boyd said he’ll have competitive teams this season.

“Our guy’s team is definitely a podium threat,” he said. “The depth on both sides, men and women, is solid, so we’re going to have a difficult time picking a team for either side.”

— With files from Gilbert Coyle

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