Sault Stryders
Running Club

City High School Cross-Country Championships
Reported October 15, 2003 by Peter Ruicci for The Sault Star
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario

Swift St. Mary's runner
Rocky Robitaille: Triple wins would be nice.

Rocky Robitaille got off to a winning start at Tuesday’s meet, but also wants Northern, national titles to round off his season

He doesn't want to be greedy, but Rocky Robitaille is hoping this is just the beginning.

The Grade 12 student at St. Mary’s College won the Senior Boys' Division 8-kilometre race Tuesday, at the annual City High School Cross-Country Meet at Kinsmen Park.

While pleased with his win, secured in 24 minutes, 42 seconds, Robitaille's goal is to help the Sault Athletics club team win the 19-and-under title at the national championships in Etobicoke in late November.

“We’ve been running for a while together and we’ve got a good shot as a team,” said the 17-year-old Robitaille, who’ll be joined in Etobicoke by Clyde Bridge and Matt Fleming, of Lake Superior State University, and Peter Lachowsky, of Sir James Dunn Collegiate. “We put together the fastest people we could find in the Sault and we want to do well.”

After capturing city and Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association titles, and finishing eighth at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships in junior a year ago, Robitaille had little trouble at the next level Tuesday.

His winning time was 1:16 better than Lachowsky (25:58). Korah’s Colin Nickel (26:43) was third, helping the Colts win the senior team title.

SJD was second among senior teams, but the Eagles’ dominance in junior helped lead the Dunn to its second straight Boys’ Division overall title.

The Sir James Dunn girls were also tops overall for the second straight year, allowing the Eagles to repeat as co-ed aggregate champions.

As is his style, Robitaille jumped to an early lead Tuesday.

“As soon as we got into the bush at the 400-metre mark, I turned it on,” he said. “I like to get in front at the start. I can’t sit behind people.”

Next up, Robitaille hopes, is a NOSSA championship Oct. 24 here.

SJD’s Matt Cuddy won the Junior Boys’ 7k in 24:25. Kevin Sawyer of White Pines (25:12) and the Dunn’s Brent Jarrett (25:20) were next.

John Harvey (18:15) of St. Mary’s won the Midget Boys’ 5k to lead the Knights to first place overall in that division. SJD’s Reg Peer (18:27) and Joey Lachowsky (19:52) followed.