Burlington, Ont. – Lucia Stafford and Mitch Ubene have been named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Athletes of the Week for the period ending October 27, 2019.
Female Athlete of the Week – Lucia Stafford, Toronto Varsity Blues, Cross Country
Fourth-year standout Lucia Stafford earned the individual gold medal for the Toronto Varsity Blues in impressive fashion at the 2019 OUA cross country championships this past Saturday.
Stafford, a fourth-year engineering major from Toronto, was part of a trio that charged away from the pack early and battled amongst themselves for much of the 8km run. Racing in her first cross country event of the season, Stafford was able to stick with the MacDougalls early and make her decisive move in the final two kilometres to snatch the title by a six-second margin in a time of 27:20.2.
It marks Stafford's second career podium finish after placing second in 2016 and is the first time a Varsity Blue has won the individual crown since her sister, 2016 Olympian Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, did it in 2015. Stafford led Toronto’s women to an overall bronze-medal finish.
Male Athlete of the Week – Mitch Ubene, Guelph Gryphons, Cross Country
For the 17th time in the last 21 years, the Guelph Gryphons are OUA champions in men's cross country. And it was Mitch Ubene leading the charge for the Gryphons on Saturday in Hamilton.
For the first time since 2017, the Gryphon men took the OUA banner, edging the host Marauders by eight points in the final team standings. Working his way from the second chase group, Ubene surged into the lead and took gold by a 10-second margin in 31:00.6, while the Gryphons initial pack leader Mark Patton won bronze and Kalum Delaney followed in fourth. With the victory over the field of 85 runners, the fourth-year talent became the 16th runner in Gryphon history to earn the title of individual champion at the OUA Cross Country Championships. He accomplished the feat in a time of 31:00.6, bettering Western’s Isaiah Frielink, the runner up, by a margin of 10 seconds.
A mechanical engineering major from Tecumseh, Ontario, will now look to lead the Gryphons to a second national title in the past three years when the Gryphons head to Kingston on November 9 for the 2019 U SPORTS Cross Country Championships.