The Sault's Marissa Lobert dominated senior girls cross-country Friday afternoon finishing more than 30 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, and setting a personal best time for the 5-kilometre run during the Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships.
Lobert's 19:23.34 was more than one minute faster than her time last week when she won the annual city meet on the same course.
"I'm really happy. It was my fastest time," said the Grade 11 student, who helped lead the Superior Heights girls team to a second place overall finish on Friday afternoon, at Hiawatha's Kinsmen Park.
The top three NOSSA runners in each division earn a berth in the all-Ontario championships, which means Lobert's gold-medal run secured her a spot in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships that will be held in Ottawa on Nov. 5.
But the top two teams (boys and girls) will also advance to OFSAA. Superior Heights second-place finish in girls assure the women's team a spot in Ottawa.
Lobert was one of 88 runners to compete in senior girls on Friday afternoon.
She started off in the race by staying with a small group that remained just behind the leaders.
But it didn't take long before one runner opened up a 15-metre lead on Lobert, who was alone in second spot at that point. She worked hard to make up the difference.
"And then about halfway through (the race) I caught up to her and went ahead. Then I just tried to keep a consistent pace the rest of the way," said the Grade 11 student.
No one could catch her after that.
"I'm very happy with my race and my placing," she said.
Last year she was second in junior girls at NOSSA.
Lobert says she's excited about competing at the OFSSA next week.
"I'll just keep working my hardest and see how I do there."
Superior Heights Amelia Marrato was the next best local runner in senior girls. She placed seventh. Marrato was third in junior at NOSSA last year.
The Grade 11 student wasn't excited about her performance on Friday.
"It was okay."
She expected to do better, but admits to being more nervous this time out.
Marrato tried to overcome one runner at a time as she progressed along the course, but she didn't have much success.
"I got to pick off a few, but not as much as I would have liked."
Marrato and Lobert have been friends since childhood. They train together and they compete together each year.
Marrato was second behind Lobert at the city meet last week.
She was quick to laud Lobert's performance on Friday.
"Marissa surprises me every time."
St. Mary's Rachel MacLennan was ninth in senior girls, while Wendy Mihell (Superior Heights), Taylor Dewling (St. Basil) and Emma Horner (Central Algoma Secondary School) finished 16th, 17th and 20th respectively.
Top local junior girls were, Sabrina Marsh (6th place, Korah), Alica Mlynarczyk (7th, St. Basil), Krista Buckner (8th Korah), Katrian Brain (9th, White Pines), Mickey Bowen (10th, CASS), Molly Campbell (17th, CASS) and Kaitlyn Murray, (19th, CASS).
Lydia Heimonen (2nd, Superior Heights), Erika Mihell (3rd, Superior Heights), Erin Lee (7th, Korah), Jenni Richardson (8th, St. Basil), Kirsten Corbett (11th, White Pines), Julia Pulente (17th, St. Mary's), Audrey Steele (19th, Korah) and Danielle McKenney (20th, Superior Heights).