MONTREAL – A trio of top 10 finishes in both the men's and women's events helped the Western Mustangs cross country team claim the men's and women's team titles at the McGill Open at Mount Royal Park on Saturday.
This is the second year in a row that the woman's cross country team has taken gold at the event and is the team's 13th title in the past 23 years. The men's team is also no stranger to victory in Montreal as they last claimed the title in 2012, with this year's win marking their eighth victory over the past 23 years. Western topped the podium on Saturday with an overall team score of 49 points in the men's competition and 33 in the women's. Queen's took second place in the men's event with 73 points, while Laval took third with 79. On the women's side the Rouge et Or earned a second place finish with 72 points, with McGill taking third with 74 points.
Overall the 2014 edition of the McGill Open featured 22 teams in the women's race with 262 finishers and 26 teams in the men's with 286 finishers all competing on a new course.
Leading the way for the Mustangs was all-Canadian Amanda Truelove who won the women's individual competition for a third straight year with a time of 14:27. Following close behind Truelove in the top 10 for the purple and white were Melissa Caruso in fifth place (15:00), Bridget Pyke in eighth (15:06), Stephanie MacNeil in ninth (15:06). Five other Mustangs placed among the top 30 finishers including Jess White in 12th (15:28), Ainsley Nantes in 13th (15:28), Julie Hamleton in 23rd (15:43), Katherine Lampard in 24th (15:44), and Sarah Emilio in 26th (15:48).
On the men's side Kevin Blackney was the first Western runner across the line, finishing in fifth with a time of 19:46. Joining Blackney in the top 10 were Donovan Hacking in eighth (19:57) and rookie Liam Lees in 10th (19:59). Six other Mustangs placed in the top 30 including rookie Ben Carson in 12th (20:02), Phil Parrot-Migas in 14th (20:04), Chris Balestrini in 20th (20:12), Shane Roberts in 21st (20:15), and Triphon Moodie in a tie for 27th (20:29).
Saturday's wins were the first under new head coach Guy Schultz and assistants Janet Takahashi and Becky Pieterson. Schutlz took over the program following the retirement of the legendary Bob Vigars at the conclusion of the 2013 campaign.
Next up, the Mustangs will host the Western International on Saturday, September 20th in London.
Source: Western Mustangs