AROUND OUA: Western International Invitational

AROUND OUA: Western International Invitational

Toronto's Lucia Stafford wins Western Invitational

Stafford wins! Not an uncommon phrase in Varsity Blues land. But this time it was 2016 Olympian Gabriela Stafford's sister, Lucia, doing the winning.
 
In her first-ever race as a Varsity Blue, rookie standout Lucia Stafford won the Western International Invitational in a time of 17:04.5, leading Toronto's women's cross country team to a second-place finish overall.

Lucia Stafford, who competed at the 2016 world junior championships in Poland this past summer, was followed closely by veteran Varsity Blues Madeleine Kelly, who placed sixth in 17:31.0.
 
A trio of Varsity Blues came in next as Honor Walmsley placed 13th in 18:08.6, while Christiana Agustin and Charlotte Dunlap were 18th and 19th in 18:29.0 and 18:33.0, respectively.
 
The Blues finished with 57 points, behind the 11-time reigning OUA champion Guelph Gryphons (36). The host Mustangs were third with 66 points.

Toronto's men placed fifth overall with 133 points, behind Western (54), McMaster (63), Windsor (67) and Guelph (79).
 
Cameron Linscott was Toronto's top runner, placing 12th in the 8km race with a time of 25:25.0. Noah Defreyne was 21st in 25:44.3, while Ben De Vito was 31st in 25:55.5. Robert Lawand (25:58.9), Craig Klomp (26:01.5) and Yousuf Lahaye (26:01.9) placed 34th, 35th and 36th, respectively.

The Varsity Blues are back in action next Saturday, October 1 as they travel to Kentucky for the Greater Louisville Classic.

Source: Toronto Varsity Blues

Mustang men take gold, women bronze at Western International Invitational

LONDON, Ont. - Both the men's and women's cross country teams claimed podium finishes on home turf at the Western Invitational on Saturday as the meet grew to the largest number of competators in program history. 

The men's team had an outstanding performance as team captains Jack Sheffar and Ben Carson took home second and third place respectively. Sheffar crossed the finish line just behind Windsor's Corey Bellemore to claim the silver medal with a time of 24:47.9. Carson followed Sheffar by just seconds and finished in third with a time of 24:54.7.

In addition to the two podium finishes, Chris Balestrini clinched a spot in the top-ten as he earned seventh place with a time of 25.08.5. 

"We're feeling like the best team that Western's had in almost a decade, so this is a really, really big day for us," said Carson.

Collectively, the Mustangs men's team took home the gold medal as the squad finished with a score of 54 and a total time of 2:06:23. 

McMaster earned the silver medal with a score of 63 and total time of 2:06.58, and Windsor walked away with a bronze medal with a score of 67 and a total time of 2:06:59.

The Mustang's women's cross country team also posted impressive results on Saturday as they took home the bronze medal as a team. Kristina Popadich was the top finisher of the the race for Western as she crossed the finish line in fourth place with a time of 17:12.3. Popadich's time is a new course record for the team that had been set back in the 1980s. 

"It was good to see Kristina come out of her shell," said Mustangs head coach Guy Schultz. "She's always had that ability to run that fast so now she just has the confidence and hopefully that carries on throughout the season."

Katherine Lampard also had an impressive race on Saturday as she earned the final spot in the top-ten with a time of 17:52.0. 

Both Mustangs teams will be back in action next week as they travel south of the boarder to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, October 1st to compete in the Louisville Classic.

Source: Western Mustangs

Brock women's cross country places 8th at Western International, Men 12th

LONDON, ON - The Brock University men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2016 season at the 42nd Annual Western International. The Brock women placed 8th overall and the men were 12th.

For the Brock women, Alex Ratcliffe was the Badgers top finisher placing 41st overall in a time of 19:52.4. Two-sport athlete Joanna Francolini placed 45th in a time of 19:59.1, while Brittany Murphy (50th - 20:12.9), Erin Laughlin (54th- 20:21.4), Cassandra Hinz (66th - 20:44.0), Martina Walch (79th - 21:09.9) and Paulina Sergnese (81st -21:22.4) rounded out the Badgers individual performances.

On the men's side, Jelmer van den Hadelkmap was the Badgers top performer finishing 26th overall in a time of 25:52.1. Brendan Sanders (66th - 27:53.2), Ryan Gagnon (79th - 28:34.4), Brett Parent (84th - 28:56.8), Akshar Patel (86th - 29:09.0), Lucas Salazer-Reid (8th - 29:14.4) and Branden Gallagher (88th - 29:34.0) rounded out the Badgers finishers.

Source: Brock Badgers

Voyaguers open season at Western

The Laurentian cross country running teams competed at the Western International in London this weekend, with the women's squad finishing 5th out of 14 teams and the men finishing 10th out of 15 squads.

The women were led by 4th year veteran, Marissa Lobert, who placed 30th with a personal best time of 18:41. She was followed by Jessie Nusselder who finished 40th in 19:06; Nicole Rich, 48th in 19:19, Megan Crocker, 52nd in 19:26 and Nicole Hessels, who was 56th in 19:37. First year runners, Jenny Bottomley who was 67th in 19:56 and Breanne Steven, 81st in 20:19, acted as displacers.

The team finished in a close pack with only 56 seconds separating the first from the fifth runner. Their average time of 19:13 was the second-best in school history on this course.

"We've lost four of seven women from last year's CIS squad - three to graduation and one to a summer injury," said head coach, Dick Moss. "So we weren't sure what to expect this year. But we put in a lot of miles over the summer and it's paying off. I do believe we'll be in the hunt for a CIS spot again."

The men's team finished 10th with a score of 293 and a team average time of 27:25 over the 8km course. They were led by Ewan Craig who finished 81st in 27:01. He was followed by rookie, Jerryd McLeod Maenpaa, 82nd in 27:03; Dylan McKevitt, 93rd in 27:21; Sam Delage, 109th in 27:48 and rookie Caleb Beland, 114th in 27:53. Jacob Dupuis-Labour at 126th in 28:22 and Luke Mackrell, 128th in 28:28 were displacers.

The team's average time of 27:25 was 65 seconds better than last year, and the men also finished in a close pack, with a one-to-five split of only 53 seconds
 
Assistant coach Darren Jermyn, added. "Our men were over a minute faster than last year - that's excellent improvement and it shows that our target of a top-10 finish at the OUAs is realistic."

Two Laurentian alumni runners also competed, with Emma Tallman, now a physiotherapist in London, finishing 19th in 18:21, and Katie Wismer, now at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, finishing 27th in 18:36.

The Vees next race is October 1, at the Mike Woods/Geneseo Invitational, at Letchworth State Park in New York.

Source: Laurentian Voyageurs

Golden Hawks finish ninth at Western Invit.

LONDON, Ont. (September 26, 2016) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks cross country teams opened up their 2016 season on Saturday at the Western Invitational where both the men's and women's team earned a ninth place finish in the team standings.

Competing against 13 other teams, Laurier's women finished ninth thanks to an outstanding afternoon from second year Bettina Boucher of Whitby, Ont. Boucher finished 26th out of 141 runners as she posted a time of 18 minutes, 35.4 seconds on the five-kilometer course.

In the men's event, Joe Sheridan of Waterloo, Ont., paced the purple and gold as he crossed the line in 30th thanks to a time of 25.48.8.

Laurier's next meet is the Don Mills Open hosted by the Waterloo Warriors, this Saturday, October 1 which will be run on the Columbia Ice Field North Campus.

Source: Laurier Golden Hawks

Mac men defend silver, women finish fourth at Western International

Racing in a packed field at the Western International, which resembled an OUA Championship meet, the Marauders demonstrated that they belong among the conference's best. McMaster's men repeated as silver medalists in London Saturday, while the women finished fourth and radically improved on their team performance of a year ago.

Mac Men Push the Hosts

A coherent top three has emerged for the men in 2016, with veterans Connor Darlington, Jeff Tweedle and Nick Kondrat once again leading the charge Saturday.

Darlington shaved 10 seconds off of his 2015 showing at the International, crossing the line fifth in a time of 25:01.7, while Tweedle followed just one spot and five seconds behind. Continuing his impressive 2016 campaign after raising eyebrows in Buffalo, Kondrat provided a competitive third score for Mac by finishing 13th overall in a time of 25:19.2.

Despite battling illness, fifth-year vet Gabe Ghiglione battled to score fourth for the Marauders, crossing the line 24th overall in 25:43.5.

A rising star of the program completed the scoring, as second-year runner Christian MacGillivray provided Mac's final score Saturday as he had for the first time in Buffalo. MacGillivray finished in 25:47.4, good for 28th overall.

Their team score of 63 confirmed McMaster as repeat silver medalists, sitting just nine points back of the host Mustangs, and beating out perennial OUA powerhouses from Windsor and Guelph.

Providing a valuable learning experience to their full squad, the Marauders brought 22 men to the meet, including seven rookies, giving their young runners a close look at top OUA competition.

Mixture of Youth and Experience Sees Mac Women Improve

While their final placement as a team fell three spots from last year's title-winning result, the Marauders women saw all-around improvement in their performances while the quality of the field leapt forward in 2016.

Emily Nowak was Mac's low stick yet again Saturday, running the 5km course in 18:07.1 to finish 15th and shave nearly a full minute off of her 2015 performance at the International.

Teammate Maddie Benjamin followed three spots later to score second for Mac, crossing the line in 18:14.6 and similarly shaving 40 seconds off of her previous time in London.

The third score belonged to Marauders rookie Rachel Faulds, who continued her strong start in Maroon and Grey, crossing the line 23rd in a time of 18:26.3 and staying within striking distance of the OUA's upper echelon.

Following in fourth, second-year Kristen Kuhn finished 34th in a time of 18:54.8, while fifth-year returnee Sarah Haliburton rounded out the scoring for McMaster by placing 41st overall in a time of 19:07.8.

Alison Head and Erin Mawhinney rounded out Mac's top seven, keeping all of McMaster's scorers and tiebreakers inside the top 50 at the stacked event.

With just eight spots separating McMaster's top three, the Marauders have a highly competitive group at the front end, who will undoubtedly push each other in training as the team approaches the business end of the Fall season.

Two weeks of training will help the Marauders to do just that, before their final tune up race at the Canisius Alumni Classic in Buffalo on October 15.

Source: McMaster Marauders

Rams quicken pace at Western Invitational

LONDON, Ont. - Last year, Joel Perera-Satgunem was not happy with his debut race at this meet hosted by Western University and vowed he would do better. The newly appointed captain of the men's team did just that racing 27.00 over the challenging 8 km course, knocking a whopping 3 minutes of his previous time.

The inspired Rams team of Mike Konstantopoulos, Ben Snider-McGrath, Aaron McQuaid, Valerian Gomes, Kevin Malas, Matt Wahl, Mackenzie Bauer, Selva Yogarajah and Jeff Lee  raced to 13th place and 44 points better than last year. The race was won by Western.

The women showed they too are ready to crack the top 10 in the OUA in 2016, placing 12th, a scant 5 points from 10th spot. Rebecca Verlaan showed she is ready to join the elite women in the conference placing 26th with strong time of 19.02, followed by teammate and captain Sylvie Antoun and the ever improving group of Anna Cianni, Melinda Marghetis and Hannah Park. First year rookies Meghan Gaudette and Caroline Fischer both gave strong efforts in helping the team lower its average team pace from 4.22 per km to 4.08. The University of Guelph took the women's team title.  

Coaches Albert Dell'Apa and Tim Uuksulainen were both very pleased with both the men and women's overall performances.

"This meet is always a good measuring stick for the OUA finals as every top team is here. Our goal for 2016 for both teams  is to make top 10 ranking in the OUA. There is a lot to be optimistic about when we are firing on all cylinders. We were missing starters Amanda Hummel and Kaitlynn Sanger, both nursing injuries. We are also hopeful that veteran Hailey Salvian who has struggled a bit, can find the groove she had last year when she was consistently one of our best runners."

The Rams next race will be on October 16 in Toronto on the pre-OUA Course hosted by the University of Toronto.

Source: Ryerson Rams

Bellemore captures Western Invitational

In their first weekend of competition, the Lancer cross country team had a strong showing at the Western Invitational this past Saturday in London.
 
The Lancer men finished third overall with 67 points, while the women placed sixth.
 
Corey Bellemore started off the season right with a first place finish in the men's 8km race. The Lancers' athlete of the year ran 24:40.7 to claim the individual gold medal, ahead of the remaining 178 competitors.
 
Other Lancer scorers included Alex Ullman (25:26.3), Andrew Nebel (25:27.2), rookie Miles Matthews (25:39.6), and Taylor McArthur (25.45.3).
 
On the women's side, Stefanie Smith led the way for the Blue & Gold placing fifth overall with a time of 17.29.9. Charlene Rhead finished the 5km course in a time of 19:09.2, while Sydney Hawkins was right behind her at 19:15.5.
 
Rachel Crawley ran 19:47.5 and Alison Robinson finished in a time of 20:21.7 to close out the Lancer scorers.
 
To see the complete list of Lancer results, please click here.
 
Windsor will now travel to the Louisville Classic on Saturday October 1st.

Source: Windsor Lancers

Lions finish 14th at Western Invitational

The York University Lions women's cross country team finished in 14th place at the 42nd annual Western International Invitational on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 24) at the Thames Valley Golf Club in London, Ont.
 
The meet was the team's first of the season and saw the Lions racing in a field of 141 runners.
 
Second-year runner Nina Sieh (Mississauga, Ont.) was York's top finisher on the 5km course, crossing the finish line in 69th place in a time of 19:59. Rookie Anna Green (Ottawa) was the next Lions' finisher in 90th place with a time of 20:35.
 
The Lions also had multiple runners in the men's 8km race, which had a field of 179 runners. York was led by Suraj Sharma (Brampton, Ont.), who was the 74th finisher in a time of 26:56. Teammate Brandon Belan (Espanola, Ont.) was next in 115th place with a time of 27:54.
 
The Lions will return to action again next weekend when they travel to Waterloo, Ont., on Saturday (Oct. 1) for the annual Don Mills Open

Source: York Lions

AROUND OUA: Laurentian Open
October 17, 2016 AROUND OUA: Laurentian Open
AROUND OUA: Don Mills Open
October 17, 2016 AROUND OUA: Don Mills Open