X-Men run to 9th place at nationals, X-Women 18th

Courtesy Mathieu Belanger
Courtesy Mathieu Belanger

Quebec City, QC – The X-Men cross country team ran to a ninth place showing at the national CIS 10K championship race Saturday afternoon on a challenging Plains of Abraham course.

The Universite de Laval were national champions, scoring 43 points on the day, with Trinity Western (87) and Western University (95) taking home silver and bronze. The X-Men garnered 231 points as they had six finishers amongst the large field of 161 competitors.

AUS individual champion Calvin DeWolfe (Bridgewater, NS) was the top finisher for the X-Men in 23rd place, clocking a time of 31:40.1. Alexa Cyr (Abram-Village, PE) placed 31st at 31:51.7 and Scott Donald (Ottawa, ON) was 62nd at 32:44.8.

Rounding out the X placements were Angus Rawling (Calgary, AB) in 67th with a time of 32:53.3, Paul MacLellan (Antigonish, NS) in 73rd at 33:04.0 and Nick Favero (Rockland, ON) in 83rd spot with a 33:18.9 time.

In the women's field of 161 racers, the University of Guelph raced to the team title with 70 points. They were followed by Queen's (77) and Trinity Western (103). The X-Women came 18th overall with 448 points on the afternoon.

The top X-Women finisher with a time of 23:59.7 on the 6K course was Mary MacDonald (Kingston, ON). She was followed by Liz MacDonald (Bedford, NS) in 83rd place (24:51.1), while Zoe Johnston (Pembroke, ON) and Rachel MacDougall (Antigonish, NS) came 112th and 114th with times of 24:43.4 and 24:46.8, respectively.

Hana Marmura (Antigonish, NS) was 118th with a time of 24:52.5, Heidi MacDonald (Merigomish, NS) was 129th, clocking in in 25:08.5 and Paige Chisholm (Port Williams, NS) at 25:26.0 was 139th

The complete release from U Sports follows.

2016 CIS cross country championships:
12th consecutive women's banner for Guelph, Laval men take gold on home soil

QUEBEC CITY (U Sports) – A new chapter was added today to the dynasty of the University of Guelph Gryphons women's cross-country team, while on the men's side the Université Laval Rouge et Or utilized home field advantage to win its first national title in program history at the 2016 CIS Championship. The races were held on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Saturday.

The Gryphons scooped up the women's banner for a 12th consecutive year, a streak that originally started back in 2005. It was Guelph's 13th title in its history, their very first title coming in 1997. As for the Rouge et Or, the men were finally triumphant after coming as close as second back in 2012, and third in the last three consecutive years.

"From the beginning of the season, we said that our objective was to win the national championship, and then, to do so in a manner so convincingly, I am extremely proud of the team, it's a great moment," stated Rouge et Or head coach Félix-Antoine Lapointe. "We have been thinking about this for a long time and knew that this was a good moment because we were at home and have several veterans who were giving their all for the team. To end this season with our first victory in program history, it is extraordinary," added the U Sports coach of the year.

Five Laval student-athletes, who accounted for points in the team standings, finished in the top 20 overall. Leading the way, Yves Sikubwabo, dominated the pack out racing second place by a margin of five seconds, completing the 10 kilometres in a time of 30:51.0. The fourth and fifth place finishes by Antoine Thibeault and Alexandre Ricard also weighed heavily in the Rouge et Or's first-ever CIS Championship.

With 43 accumulated points, Laval beat Trinity Western (88) and Western (96) on the podium. In the individual results, Yves Sikubwabo finished ahead of Trinity Western's Declan White (30:56) and Connor Darlington (30:57.9) of McMaster.

On the women's side the Gryphons narrowly managed to take home the gold, defeating the Queen's Gaels (70 versus 77). Trinity Western (103) completed the podium finishing third. "The whole league has changed and got better, it's deeper. This team is as good as any we have ever had," said Dave Scott-Thomas, head coach of the champion Gryphons. "Back in the day we might have five girls in the top 10. It was seven points, full credit to Queen's it was a nice piece of running. For us, it was a team effort all the way through."

Have they gotten used to winning regularly like that?

"No never, it's fresh every time, it's our 12th year in a row and it's just as exciting. They're jumping around and smiling and it feels pretty new," explained Scott-Thomas, who was named the women's head coach of the year.

The Gryphons' best representative was Katelyn Ayers (21:23.1), who crossed the finish line in third place behind Emma Cook-Clarke (21:15.0) from the University of Calgary and winner Claire Sumner (21:09.3) of Queen's University.  

Complete results: http://en.cis-sic.ca/championships/xc/2016/files/sched_results

Team standings
1. Guelph, 70 points
2. Queen's, 77
3. Trinity Western, 103
4. Western, 142
5. Toronto, 184
6. Alberta, 222
7. McGill, 223
8. McMaster, 238
9. Victoria, 246
10. Dalhousie, 248
11. Calgary, 263
12. Manitoba, 353
13. Laurentian, 356
14. Montreal, 356
15. Laval, 381
16. Sherbrooke, 422
17. Saskatchewan, 443
18. StFX, 448
19. MacEwan, 473
20. Waterloo, 540
21. Wilfrid Laurier, 544
22. UQTR, 662
Individual honours
Athlete of the year: Claire Sumner, Queen's
Rookie of the year: Lucia Stafford, Toronto
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Jenna MacDonald, Dalhousie
Coach of the year: Dave Scott-Thomas, Guelph
First All-Canadians (top 7 finishers)
1. Claire Sumner, Queen's, 21:09.3
2. Emma Cook-Clarke, Calgary, 21:15.0
3. Katelyn Ayers, Guelph, 21:23.1
4. Lisa Brooking, Trinity Western, 21:23.8
5. Regan Yee, Trinity Western, 21:30.0
6. Lucia Stafford, Toronto, 21:34.0
7. Kristina Popadich, Western, 21:35.6

Second All-Canadians (finishers 8-14)
8. Stef Smith, Windsor, 21:47.3
9. Heather Petrick, Guelph, 21:47.8
10. Julie-Anne Staehli, Queen's, 21:50.0
11. Colleen Wilson, Dalhousie, 22:10.0
12. Katherine Lampard, Western, 22:19.1
13. Melanie Myrand, McGill, 22:22.7
14. Melissa Jones, Calgary, 22:26.5
Team standings
1. Laval, 43 points
2. Trinity Western, 88
3. Western, 96
4. McMaster, 138
5. Windsor, 145
6. Victoria, 145
7. Calgary, 160
8. Queen's, 185
9. Guelph, 222
10. StFX, 234
11. Toronto, 293
12. Manitoba, 310
13. Dalhousie, 402
14. Ottawa, 416
15. Waterloo, 425
16. Sherbrooke, 430
17. Wilfrid Laurier, 517
18. Montreal, 543
19. UQTR, 551
20. Concordia, 606
21. MacEwan, 613

Individual honours
Athlete of the year: Yves Sikubwabo, Laval
Rookie of the year: Muhumed Sirage, Western
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Gabriel Ghiglione, McMaster
Coach of the year: Félix-Antoine Lapointe, Laval
First All-Canadians (top 7 finishers)
1. Yves Sikubwabo, Laval, 30:51.0
2. Declan White, Trinity Western, 30:56.0
3. Connor Darlington, McMaster, 30:57.9
4. Kevin Tree, Lakehead, 31:01.1
5. Antoine Thibeault, Laval, 31:06.7
6. Alexandre Ricard, Laval, 31:10.7
7. Corey Bellemore, Windsor, 31:12.0
Second All-Canadians (finishers 8-14)
8. Joel De Schiffart, Trinity Western, 31:15.9
9. Jack Sheffar, Western, 31:18.6
10. Jeff Tweedle, McMaster, 31:18.7
11. Christopher Balestrini, Western, 31:21.3
12. Ben Carson, Western, 31:21.3
13. Adam Strueby, Regina, 31:22.0
14. Roman Justinen, Calgary, 31:23.5