It was a second straight strong performance by the local crew as the Voyageurs competed at the Western International, finishing seventh overall (fifth among OUA schools) in a field of 18 teams representing Ontario, Quebec and the northern U.S.
Racing on a rain-drenched course at the Thames Valley Golf Club, the Laurentian ladies posted an average time of 19:18 for their top five runners, the best average time in school history.
Leading the way was sophomore Samantha Edwards, earning a top-10 medal with a personal best time of 18:39. Edwards was followed by Sudburians Katie Wismer (28th - 19:15) and Emily Marcolini (29th - 19:15), with the St. Benedict graduate ranking third among OUA rookies in the race.
Also breaking the 20-minute threshold were Alyssa Bedard (19:32) and Adrienne Wilson (19:47), with both Michelle Kennedy (20:13) and Meghan Rothenbroker (20:31) helping out as displacers.
"This was a great start to the season, although a little unexpected," said Moss. "We hadn't anticipated solid results until the Geneseo meet in two weeks. But we have a tough core of vets who are starting to come into their own, plus some talented rookies who are making a mark."
Moss also noted that the top-10 finish by Edwards was the first for a Laurentian runner since Leila Angrand in 2006.
A native of Toronto who participates in triathlons during the summer months, Edwards typifies the up-beat attitude of the current core of LU runners.
"I really enjoy the triathlons because I get a really good base, and I'm hoping from that base that this cross-country season will be really awesome. We have a great training group this year, with some really good rookies," said Edwards. "It's awesome to have a group that can push you every practice."
The Voyageurs are right back on the road this coming weekend, participating in the New Balance Vic Matthews Open in Guelph, the team's first six-kilometre race of the season, the official distance for the OUA championships.
To boot, Edwards enjoyed a breakthrough at the Guelph race in 2012, clocking an impressive time of 18:46 before suffering an ankle injury just one week prior to the provincial championships last year.
"I'm really excited to see how I can push through six km," she said. "I ran perfect splits (at Western) for the first time ever, so it's a matter of adding one more kilometre at the same pace."
Following is the order of finish of all competing teams in London, as well as complete results for the Laurentian athletes:
1 – Western
2 - University of Toronto
3 – Queen's
4 - Oakland University (Michigan)
5 – McMaster
6 Wayne State (Detroit)
7 – Laurentian
8 – McGill
9 - Geneseo (NY)
10 – Windsor
11 – Guelph
12 – Waterloo
13 – Lakehead
14 – York
15 – Brock
16 – Laurier
17 – Nipissing
18 – Concordia
10th - Samantha Edwards – 18:39
28th - Katie Wismer – 19:15
29th - Emily Marcolini – 19:15
58th - Alyssa Bedard – 19:32
74th - Adrienne Wilson – 19:47
92nd - Michelle Kennedy – 20:13
104th - Meghan Rothenbroker – 20:31
106th - Marissa Lobert – 20:34
127th - Lyndsay Greasley – 20:58
144th - Jenna Thornber – 21:57
151st - Charlotte Van Walraven - 22:32