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Weekend recap: Guelph Gryphons sweep at Western Invitational

A look at impressive results from across Canada and Canadians abroad

This weekend saw some of the best cross country teams across Canada compete at the Western Invitational in London, Ont. The University of Guelph declared their dominance, defending both the men’s and women’s team titles at the meet.

The lead women’s pack at Western Invitational. Photo: Marley Dickinson

In the women’s 8K race, five women broke away from the pack – Anna Carruthers of Western pushed the pace at the front but couldn’t hold on, as it was Laval’s Catherine Beauchemin who won in 29:50. Beauchemin laid down a kick over the final 500 metres to separate herself from the rest of the field. Guelph’s Kiana Gibson and Sadie-Jane Hickson finished second and third. Guelph had five women finish inside the top 20 to win the team title over OUA rivals Western and McMaster. 

RELATED: Weekend recap: Cross country competition returns to Canadian soil

The top three men at the Western Invitational. Left-to-right Jonathan Tedeschi, Mitch Ubene and Alex Drover. Photo: Marley Dickinson

The rain held off for the men’s 8K, as the favourites battled for position early. Around 5K, the lead pack featured over 15 runners, half of which were from the University of Guelph. Guelph’s Mitch Ubene, who won the 2019 Western Invite, defended his title, dropping Laval’s Jean-Simon Desgagnés and Thomas Fafard over the last kilometre. Laval’s Jonathan Tedeschi finished five seconds behind Ubene for second place (25:26), and Alex Drover of McMaster was third across the line in 25:27. Guelph had five runners finish inside of the top ten, securing the team win ahead of number one and two ranked teams McMaster and Laval. 

RELATED: 2021 U Sports cross country preseason power rankings

Canada West conference action

the University of Victoria hosted the UVic Invitational meet. In the women’s 6K, Lauren McNeil won by 30 seconds over Olympian triathlete Joanna Brown. McNeil is from England but is competing for UBC Okanagan on international exchange. McNeil was third in the 3,000m at British U20 championships earlier this summer and should be a threat to contend for the individual U Sports title this fall.

Thomas Nobbs winning the UVikes Invitational. Photo: Vid Wadhwani

UBC’s Thomas Nobbs, a transfer from the University of Washington XC program, won the men’s 6K race handily over teammate Tyler Dozzi in 18:12. This was Nobbs’s first race and win in U Sports competition. He will compete next in a few weeks at the Trinity Western Invitational.  

Canadian’s at the Berlin Marathon

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218 Canadian runners finished at the first Abbott World Marathon Major of the season. The conditions were warm and humid, as temperatures hit 23 degrees Celsius during the race. Quebec’s Élissa Legault was the top Canadian, finishing 16th overall in a time of 2:38:08, a 12-minute personal best from her previous marathon in 2019. Legault came through the halfway mark in 1:16:52 and managed to hold on to her position during the second half of the race. Canadian Running September/October cover model, Gabriel Jarquin, finished as the top Canadian male in 2:44:32, battling adversity late in the race to finish a minute shy of his personal best. 

RELATED: Running Proud

Eilish McColgan and Marc Scott stormed to victory in the Great Manchester 10K Run on Sunday. McColgan ran the third-fastest 10K on the road of all time of 30:52, Scott ran a personal best of 28:03 to out-kick countrymen Andy Butchart and Jack Rowe to win his second straight race after winning the Great North Run a few weeks ago. McColgan smashed her previous road personal best of 31:48 and now sits 21 seconds behind her mother, Liz McColgan, and 31 seconds behind Paula Radcliffe’s U.K. record of 30:21.