OUA CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW

HAMILTON, Ont. - The Guelph Gryphons are the teams to beat at the 2008 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Cross-Country Championships in Kingston, Ont. on Saturday.

The Gryphons are the four-time defending OUA women's champions, and the three-time defending champions on the men's side. They have also been dominant on the national scene, winning two straight Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) men's titles and three consecutive women's crowns. This year is no different, as both Gryphons teams enter the OUA final ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Schools looking to end Guelph's dominance include the Brock Badgers, Lakehead Thunderwolves, McMaster Marauders, Nipissing Lakers, Ottawa Gee-Gees, Queen's Gaels, RMC Paladins, Toronto Varsity Blues, Trent Excalibur, Waterloo Warriors, Western Mustangs, Laurier Golden Hawks, Windsor Lancers and York Lions. The Laurentian Lady Vees will also compete in the women's division.

Guelph's Lindsay Carson (Cambridge, Ont.), the defending OUA women's champion, has had a strong 2008 campaign, winning the Western and Penn State National Invitational. Carson was four seconds off the course record at the 5 km Western Invitational, finishing in a time of 17:19.

Another female runner to keep an eye on is Kelly-Lynne Spettigue (Richmond Hill, Ont.) of the Warriors who won the Brock Invitational in a time of 11:33. Erin Fox (Waterloo, Ont.) of Western won the 4 km Mustang Open with a time of 14:38. Megan Brown (Guelph, Ont.) of the Varsity Blues won the 5 km Queen's Open in 17:09. She won the OUA individual title in 2006.

On the men's side, Dave Weston (Windsor, Ont.) of the Lancers won the 10 km Western Invitational in a time of 32:48. Brock's Rodney Hulstein (Whitehorse, Yuk.) won his school meet with a time of 15:32, while Jonathan Little (Ancaster, Ont.) of the Marauders won the 6 km run at the Mustang Open in a time of 19:20. Kyle Boorsma (Guelph, Ont.) of the Gryphons is the defending OUA men's champion.

The Mustangs hold the record for most medals won at the OUA Cross-Country Championships, winning 28 medals on the women's side (11 gold, 11 silver and 6 bronze). They have won 25 medals (5 gold, 12 silver and 8 bronze) in the men's event the past 38 years.

The OUA Cross-Country Championships will feature the toughest competition on the university circuit outside the CIS Cross-Country Championship in Quebec City, Que. on Nov. 8. Six of the nation's top-ranked men's and women's teams will compete at the Fort Henry Hill course in Kingston. It is considered one of the toughest cross-country race courses in the country. This course is also the proposed site of the 2009 CIS Cross-Country Championship and the 2010 FISU World University Cross-Country Championship.

The 5 km women's race will begin at 11 a.m., while the men's 10 km run will start at 11:45 a.m. The top five finishers of each school are used to determine the team champions.

– OUA –

ABOUT ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and its 19 member institutions are developing Champions For Life. Giving 9,000 student-athletes the opportunity to excel academically and on the playing field, while preparing for life after university. For more information, visit OUA.ca.