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U Sports cross-country mid-season power rankings

Here's a projection of how Canadian university cross-country runners stack up

U Sports Cross-Country
Western Cross-Country Invitational
Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Canadian university cross-country is ramping up as athletes build towards the regional and national championships.

Many of the country’s top distance runners – women contest 8K and the men 10K at nationals – have raced at least once, which provides an indication of fitness. However, with more than one month until nationals, there’s plenty of time, and races, for athletes to fine-tune their training for peak racing.

RELATED: Putdowns and Prognostications (of U Sports Cross-Country).

Laval’s Yves Sikubwabo and Queen’s University’s Claire Sumner are the defending national champions and are expected to be in the hunt for the title again in 2017.

Yves Sikubwabo
Photo: Jérôme Bergeron.

Some runners – Toronto’s Gabriela Stafford and Sasha Gollish, for example – have yet to race this year though are expected to compete at the regional and national championships, according to Varsity Blues head coach Ross Ristuccia. Other athletes, like Declan White and Erik Widing, have battled injury, which may impact their performance later this fall.

RELATED: 2017 Western Cross-Country Invitational coverage.

RELATED: U Sports transfers and rookies who could be cross-country X factors.

The 2017 U Sports Cross-Country Championships head to Victoria, B.C. on Nov. 12. Of course, cross-country is highly unpredictable because of the variance of race courses, distances and competitions athletes face contest in the leadup to the national championships. (Here are the men’s and women’s recaps of last year’s national championships.)

Here’s how athletes stack up in Canadian Running‘s projection of the U Sports Cross-Country Championships, based on PBs, past race results, with national experience weighted, and early results from the late-summer and early-fall of 2017.

Men

1. ​Yves Sikubwabo – Laval
​2. Antoine Thibeault – Laval​
​​3. Declan White – Trinity Western
​4. Russell Pennock – Calgary​
​5. Jonathan Tedeschi – Laval
​6. Jack Sheffar – Western
​7. Adam Strueby – Regina​
8. Ben Carson – Western
​9. Connor Black – Guelph​
​10. Angus Rawling – St. FX
​11. Francois Jarry – McGill​​
​​​12. Nick Colyn – Trinity Western
​13. Nicolas Morin – Laval
14. Dany Racine – Laval​
​​15. Cal DeWolfe – Dalhousie
​16. Caleb de Jong – Trinity Western
17. Kieran McDonald – Alberta
​18. Jean-Simon Desgagnes – Laval​
19. Eric Wynands – Queen’s​
20. Jeff Tweedle – McMaster​
21. Stefan Daniel – Calgary
​22. Ben Workman – Guelph
23. Ryan Grieco – Calgary
​​​24. Alex Wilkie – Queen’s
​​25. Alex Cyr – Windsor​

Western Cross-Country Invitational
Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Women

1. Sasha Gollish – Toronto
2. Gabriela Stafford – Toronto
3. Branna MacDougall – Queen’s
4. Regan Yee – Trinity Western
5. Lucia Stafford – Toronto
6. Claire Sumner – Queen’s
7. Heather Petrick – Guelph
8. Aurelie Dube-Lavoie – Laval
9. Melissa Jones – Calgary
10. Jessy Lacourse – Laval
11. Kristina Popadich – Western
12. Stefanie Smith – Windsor
13. Hannah Woodhouse – Guelph
14. Amy Stephenson – Queen’s
15. Anne-Marie Comeau – Laval
16. Madeleine Kelly – Toronto
17. Danielle Jossinet – Guelph
18. Courtney Hufsmith – Saskatchewan
19. Meggie Dargis – McGill
20. Charlotte Ward – Guelph
21. Savanna Jordan – Dalhousie
22. Alison Hooper – Victoria
23. Hannah Leggatt – MacEwan
24. Mirelle Martens – Trinity Western
25. Shannen Murray – Queen’s

Western Cross-Country Invitational
Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Compiled with assistance from Evan Andrin.

[Update: Additional rankings will be released throughout the fall.]