Raymond Graham, Sunday Gleaner Writer
MANDEVILLE, Manchester: Team Canada dominated yesterday's North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships at the Manchester Golf Club in Mandeville.
The Canadians won three team titles and took home two of four individual titles.
The event, which was staged in Jamaica for the first time, saw Canada's Natasha Fraser capturing the Women's Senior 6K event in 21 minutes 07 seconds while United States' Craig Foray surprised defending champion Levins Cameron of Canada in the Men's 8K.
Fraser took the lead quite early in the Women's 6K and finished going away for the win. She was very pleased with her success and gave credit to the excellent course.
"The course was fantastic. It was challenging in the early stages but I enjoyed it and also I love the great weather," she said. Her teammate, Racheal Cliff, was second in 21:35 and Puerto Rico's Beverley Ramos was third in 21:48.
Jamaica's Danielle James was the first Jamaican home, 15th overall, in 25:27 as top local female Tanice Barnett failed to finish the event after suffering from back problems.
American Foray outlasted Canada's Cameron in the final 80 metres of the 8K finishing in 24 minutes 46 seconds to Cameron's 24:47.
Foray, a graduate of the University of Michigan, was pleased with his victory.
"This is a good win for me to come and defeat the two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association champion and Olympic Games representative. It is the biggest win of my career and I am going to use this as a launching pad for the remainder of my career," said Foray.
jamaica's best placement
Jamaica had their best team finish of the day in the event by finishing fourth overall. Kirk Brown was the top Jamaican with a 16th-place finish and an overall time of 27:18.
Earlier in the first event of the day, the 4K for Junior Women, Canada were the top team, ahead of the United States. Puerto Rico were third and Jamaica fourth.
Stephanie Barrett was the best placed Jamaican as she finished 15th in 15:46. Erin Finn of the United States finished first in 14:09, ahead of the Canadian pair of Madeline Yungblut (14:18) and Gabriela Stafford (14:25).
Canada made it a quick double as they were also overall champions in the Junior Men's 6K with the USA team in second.
It was Mexico's Edgar Garcia who came out on top in the individual race as he covered the course in 19:10. American Estevan de La Rosa was second in 19:13 with another Mexican, Victor Montanes, third in 19:16. Herbert Thomas was Jamaica's best placed athlete as he was 17th in 20:29.