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The ultimate U Sports 2020 predictions

A look at the fields for next weekend's U Sports championship

March 5-7 are the 2020 U Sports Track and Field Championships–the track and field weekend that we’ve all been waiting for. And then event that we’ve all been waiting for just got a little more competitive.

Some of the U Sports runners who’d been racing on the track this season were named to, and accepted, their positions on the FISU cross-country team that was set to compete on March 7 in Morocco. However, on Friday evening the event organizers announced that the FISU would be postponed due to coronavirus. Those athletes may be granted a position on the upcoming U Sports start line, however, this has yet to be confirmed. Event start lists will be released on Wednesday. Under the assumption that ranked runners who were originally going to run FISU, will now run U Sports, here’s a look at the predicted results of next weekend’s championship.

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The women’s 600m


In the women’s 600m, it’ll be a battle between four women who’ve all run under 1:31:00 already this season. In a race this tight, it really is anyone’s game. The 600m is fast and there’s no room for error. This race will be one by the woman who runs the smartest race.

The women to watch will be Guelph’s Jenna Smith and Sadie-Jane Hickson, Montreal’s Jade Bouchard and Ottawa’s Madison Clarke.

First: Sadie-Jane Hickson, Guelph
Second: Jade Bouchard, Montreal
Third: Jenna Smith, Guelph

The women’s 1,000m


In the women’s 1,000m the three favourites are Lucia Stafford, Avery Garrett-Patterson and Sydney Pattison. These three women are the standouts, with Stafford being nearly unbeatable and Garrett-Patterson and Pattinson being significantly ahead of the other women in the rankings. While Hickson (who’s ranked fourth) hasn’t put down a time as impressive as the three listed ladies, she’s run several strong 800m races that suggest there’s more to give than her 2:46.50 seed shows.

First: Lucia Stafford, Toronto
Second: Avery Garrett-Patterson, Toronto
Third: Sadie-Jane Hickson, Guelph

The women’s 1,500m


One again, the 1,500m will be the Lucia Stafford show. Her 4:10 seed time is 13 seconds ahead of the next-best runner and this is her favourite event. Second and third place will be a battle between Western’s Kate Current, Laval’s Jessy Lacourse and Catherine Beauchemin and Saskatchewan’s Courtney Hufsmith.

First: Lucia Stafford, Toronto
Second: Kate Current, Western
Third: Catherine Beauchemin, Laval

The women’s 3,000m

Kate Current

The women’s 3,000m is Kate Current’s to lose. This Western runner has had a great 2020 indoor season, which followed her extremely strong cross-country results (she was originally set to compete at FISU). The women looking to snag the title from Current will be Jessy Lacourse, Kara Blair and Catherine Beauchemin.

First: Kate Current, Western
Second: Jessy Lacourse, Laval
Third: Kara Blair, Queen’s

RELATED: Impressive indoor results from across the country

Men’s 600m


Just like the women’s 600m, the men’s race is tight–possibly even tighter. The top six seeds are within one second of each other, making this race almost anyone’s game. However, in the 600m, your odds get better the more you practice racing. So our predictions for the top three are betting on those who’ve run a lot of them.

First: Sebastian Saville, Carleton
Second: Vaughn Taylor, Victoria
Third: Jack Berkshire, Toronto

Men’s 1,000m


In the men’s 1,000m David Gendreau-Fillion of Laval is the standout, thanks to his 1:50 indoor 800m, but the race is far from won. There are six men who’ve run 2:24, so this is going to be one of the hardest races to call, but we’re banking on the runners who’ve been the most consistent this season.

First: David Gendreau-Fillion, Laval
Second: Eric Lutz, Calgary
Third: Hudson Grimshaw-Surette, Dalhousie

Men’s 1,500m


Montreal’s Kevin Robertson is the top-ranked runner in this event from his stellar sub-four mile earlier this season, but he got beat at last weekend’s RSEQ championships by Jean-Simon Desgagnes of Laval. Spectators will see another battle between these two men, made even more interesting with the addition of Eric Lutz of Calgary (who has been very consistent this season) and four other men seeded at 3:47.

First: Jean-Simon Desgagnes, Laval
Second: Eric Lutz, Calgary
Third: Alex Drover, McMaster

Men’s 3,000m


In the OUA men’s 3,000m, Western’s Marcel Sheele proved that he’s ready to race by winning the provincial championship (beating runners who’ve run much faster than him thus far this season) and in the process, secured a spot on next weekend’s start line. For racing that well when it counted, he’s a favourite going into the championship.

First: Jean-Simon Desgagnes, Laval
Second: Marcel Sheele, Western
Third: Matthew Travaglini, Calgary