FREDERICTON, NB – The StFX X-Men ran to a second place finish at the AUS-RSEQ interlock meet Saturday afternoon behind the Laval Rouge et Or at Fredericton's Odell Park.
Jean-Simon Desgagnes, of the Rouge et Or, won Saturday's cross country race, covering the eight kilometre course in a time of 25:14, beating Angus Rawlings of the StFX X-Men, by just four seconds.
Andrew Peverill, of the Saint Mary's Huskies, finished third in 25:28. The X-Men's Alex Neuffer was fourth with a 25:48 showing.
Peverill set a fast early pace, leading through the first four kilometres. "We let him go a bit but we kept him in sight," said Desgagnes. "At four K, with the StFX guy, we caught him, then raced together. For the kick at the end, I knew they were there, but I just let it go."
"When we started going up the hill on the second lap, the Laval guy and I started chasing him down," said Rawlings. "After that it was kind of all on the gas for the next four kilometres."
Desgagnes and Rawlings traded the lead throughout the final two kilometres, with the Quebec runner winning a sprint to the finish line. "I knew he had those wheels at the end, so I was trying to get rid of him before, and once he made that move past me I knew I wasn't going to catch him so I said to myself let's just hold on," said Rawlings.
Rawlings X-Men squad posted 67 points on the afternoon to Laval's 41. Dalhousie with 73 points, came in third. Rounding out the team results amongst the field of 123 runners was Sherbrooke, Saint Mary's, UQTR, UQAM, UNB and Montreal.
For the X-Men, Paul MacLellan was the third best finisher in ninth place overall with a time of 26:08. Aidan Doherty (23rd, 27:02), Addison Derhak (45th, 27:58), Luc Gallant (47th, 28:04), Ed MacDonald (57th, 28:42), Jonah Shankel (65th, 28:52), Patrick Marlow (68th, 29:01) and Graydon Staples (113th, 33:21) also competed for the blue and white on Saturday.
The AUS season continues on October 13th with the Universite de Moncton Invitational.