The defending OUA champion Carleton Ravens are ready for yet another banner season as they take to the trails in Sudbury. It will be a different look for the Ravens as they prepare to defend their 2020 OUA Championships.
After a stop and start two years the Ravens are ready to finally have the opportunity to defend their championships against the best the OUA has to offer. "The season has been going really well for the team, we've had a couple of really strong performances at races and the OUA Championship is a big highlight for us." said Ravens coach Anneke Winegarden.
Coach Winegarden's team looks to pick up where their predecessors left off, having all eyes squarely on another OUA Championship. "Our goal heading in is to get the banner on both the men's and women's side. We have really strong teams on both sides and while there is strong competition across the province I feel very strongly that we have a good shot at holding the banner coming out of the OUA weekend."
On the women's side, the Ravens are without two of the Williams sisters - Zoë having graduated and Bronwyn representing Canada at the World Under-23 Championship - creating an opportunity for new heroines to emerge. The Ravens squad is a strong mix of rookies and veterans and will be led by Katherine Mason (Ottawa, Ont.) "Kate Mason is a very strong racer is definitely someone to watch for us," said coach Anneke Winegarden. "She's performing really well and I'm quite confident that she can be up near the top of the field at the championship."
On the men's side, the Ravens have a balanced roster that is primed to challenge for yet another OUA banner. "The men's team is shaping up really well, we have Devon Pegrum who will be leading us out this weekend, but we also have rookie Isaac Fortin who's having a really strong showing this season and will be our rookie to watch."
The Ravens approach the championship with a balanced membership of experienced skiers, first-year racers and skiers who have had to wait for their turn to gain OUA experience. For coach Winegarden, this is a key to the team's depth.
"This year has been a really exciting year for the team, we have a record-breaking team membership and with the number of rookies, and second-year athletes who didn't have a proper rookie season, is really high and it's awesome to see a lot of fresh faces and new potential blending really well with previous members."