Windsor, ON – Third year X-Men distance runner Angus Rawling made history Friday night at the U SPORTS national track and field championship, becoming the first StFX track & field athlete – male or female – to win a national gold medal.
Rawling, a native of Calgary, Alta., won the 3000m race, claiming the gold medal and title of U SPORTS champion, as he finished with a time of 8:18.11 amidst the field of 14 runners.
He was ranked second in the nation heading into the event after posting a personal best time (and StFX record time) of 8:08.06 at the Boston University meet earlier this season. Western's Jack Sheffar (8:03.24) was ranked first but struggled early on in the race and finished at the back of the pack.
Rawling stayed with the top three leaders in the early laps then made a move midway through the race to take over first position and lead the pack, battling with McMaster's Sergio Raez-Villanueva who stayed with him and challenged for the lead. With under two laps to go Rawling made a push and distanced himself from Raez-Villanueva, holding on for the exciting final lap and first place finish.
Raez-Villanueva placed second at 8:19.10 and Royden Radowits from Alberta was third at 8:20.93. Former teammate of Rawling and StFX alumnus Calvin DeWolfe, who now runs for Dalhousie where he is pursuing graduate studies, was the only other AUS runner in the field and he placed 10th overall with an 8:33.89 result.
The win caps off a very successful season for Rawling, who was recently named AUS male track athlete of the year at the AUS Championship. He did not compete in the 3000m event at the conference championship, having already earning the qualifying time in Boston for the national meet, though he still took home three AUS medals. He won silver in both the 1000m and 1500m races and was a bronze medalist with the X-Men 4x800m relay team.
In the 2017 AUS cross country season Rawling was the individual AUS champion in the 10k race and went on to place 10th at the U SPORTS championship, earning him designation as a U SPORTS second team All-Canadian.
Rawling joins an elite group of StFX track & field athletes as only two others in history have medaled at the national event, including one of Rawling's current coaches, Eric Gillis. In 2004, Gillis took home a bronze medal in the 1500m race and a silver in the 3000m, having previously won bronze in the 3000m in 2003. X-Women runner Erin MacLean won three national medals, all in the 3000m event, including bronze in 2005, silver in 2006 and bronze again in 2007. Rawling becomes the first ever StFX athlete to win a national gold medal.
Courtesy StFX Sports Information
Angus Rawling accepts his U SPORTS gold medal at the championship event in Windsor, Ont. March 9th