LONDON, Ont. - The defending CIS national champions Guelph Gryphons didn't miss a beat, dominating the field to win the men's and women's team title at the 34th annual Western Invitational held on Sept. 20 at Thames Valley Golf Course.

Guelph Gryphons star Lindsay Carson won the women's individual race just four seconds off the course record of 17:15, finishing with an impressive time of 17:19 in slippery conditions, with dew covering much of the course.

The defending CIS champions Guelph won the team category with 31 points. Western finished in 6th with 133 points, while McMaster placed second with 85 points.

Toronto rookie Tamara Jewett placed second overall at 17:48 while Blues teammate Erin McClure was third at 18:13 but the Varsity Blues placed fourth overall in the team category with 108 points, one point behind Windsor with 107.

The top female Mustangs runner was grad student Erin Fox who finished at 18:52, just over 1:30 over the winner.

But the story for Western was on the men's side, as the Mustangs scored 47 points to finish in second place, just three points behind the eventual winner, defending CIS champion Guelph which had with 44 points.

Windsor's Dave Weston won the overall race in 32:48, while Queen's Gaels' Matt Hulse was second. Mustangs' sophomore Kyle O'Neill placed third at 33:00 even.

Behind O'Neill for the Mustangs was Ryan Armstrong who finished with a strong time of 33:50 to place fifth. Western finished in 2nd place. Windsor was third with 71, Queen's was fourth with 102.

"I have to make sure I'm ready for OUs," said O'Neill, who was battling a cold. "It's tough mentally knowing you have (a cold) and you know you're not at your best. But you can't make excuses, you just have to go out and get the job done."

Top finishers for Western included O'Neill, Armstrong, Will Komer (10th, 33:50), rookie Alex Strokach (12th, 34:05) and Matt Suda (17th, 34:20).

The men's course record is held by Western's Guy Schultz who won the CIS national title on this course in 30:57 in November, 1997. Cristiano Mauricio of the Windsor Lancers holds the Western Invitational record of 31:12 on this course.

It was a tight pack at the halfway point with runners working hard up a steep hill to set up the second 5-km loop. Gryphons runner Derek Snider led by a second ahead of Weston while O'Neill was in third.

"I know some guys would fade," O'Neill said. "I felt I was in good position (at the halfway point)."

This is the only full 10-km race for the men this season before OUA provincials and CIS nationals.

Other Mustangs men competing included Jeff Dill (18th, 34:26), Robbie Watson (20th, 34:33), David Arango (21st, 34:35), Nate Hayward (36th, 35:26) and Scott Emberley (46th, 35:58).

Other Mustangs Top 5 female finishers included Lorelle Convery (28th 19:26), Jenn Webber (33rd, 19:40), rookie Alison Savill (34th, 19:41) and Stephanie Van Veen (41st, 19:55).

Carson led at the half by 20 metres over Jewett. Guelph had four runners in the Top 7 at the half.

The women's course record is held by Western's Sandra Anschuetz who won the 1987 race in a time of 17:15.

Other Mustangs competing were Alyssa Giuliani (50th, 20:15), Lauren Coutts (54th, 20:26), Sara Leo (57th, 20:28) and Johanna Shenstone (DNF).

Source: Mustangs Athletics

Women's Results
Men's Results
Women's Stats
Men's Stats