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Weekend recap: Laval and UBC shine at U Sports conference championships

Laval Rouge-et-Or and the UBC Thunderbirds took care of business sweeping the men's and women's titles in their respective conferences

Photo by: athletepics.ca

Over the weekend, the four Canadian U Sports conferences hosted their championships, which determined who will be heading to the 2022 U Sports XC championship in Halifax, N.S. on Nov. 12. Laval won the men’s and women’s RSEQ title for the second consecutive year, while UBC swept the Canada West conference.

Canada West XC Championships – Abbotsford, B.C.

UBC’s Tyler Dozzi upgraded his 2021 silver to gold, winning the men’s Canada West XC title with a time of 23:55, Dozzi led the T-birds to their second straight men’s conference title as five Thunderbirds finished in the top 10. 2022 Canadian marathon champion Trevor Hofbauer was the favourite heading into the race for UBC Okanagan, but a shoe malfunction cost him some time, ultimately finishing sixth in 24:12.

In the women’s race, UBC won their fourth consecutive banner as Kiana Gibson won the 8K by a 24-second margin. In 2021, Gibson also won the OUA championship with the Guelph Gryphons. Joanna Brown of UBC Okanagan finished second in 27:32, while Gibson’s teammate Holly MacGillivray joined her on the podium for third in 27:37.6.

RSEQ XC Championships – Rawdon, Que.

Despite missing two of their top talents, head coach, Félix-Antoine Lapointeled the talented Laval men’s and women’s teams to their second consecutive titles. Laval’s Philippe Morneau-Cartier duelled Matthew Beaudet of McGill over the final few kilometres but took the win in 24:31. Morneau-Cartier has won three of his four races and will be one of the contenders for the individual title in Halifax.

The defending U Sports champion, Jessy Lacourse, won her seventh straight race and her second straight RSEQ conference title, winning the 8K race in 28:37.8. Laval took the first four spots with Catherine BeaucheminFlorence Caron and Sara-Pier Paquet, all finishing behind Lacourse, helping Laval earn their sixth team title in eight years.

AUS XC Championships – Charlottetown, P.E.I.

For the third year in a row, it was Andrew Peverill of Saint Mary’s University who won the AUS individual title. Peverill patiently picked away at Jared Howse of UNB Reds until one mile to go, when made his move to take the win in 24:37. The Dalhousie Tigers men’s team had five runners inside the top 12 to get back on top of the AUS podium. The Dalhousie Tigers will be hosting the top teams from across Canada for U Sports XC on Nov. 12.

There was an upset in the women’s race, as Allie Sandluck of St. Francis Xavier bested her teammate Eileen Benoit and Ivy Bialowas of UNB to win her first conference title. Sandluck won the 8K race in 30:17, while her teammate Benoit finished fourth to help the X-Women earn back-to-back titles.

OUA XC Championships – London, Ont.

The top team in the country, McMaster Marauders, swept the podium on Saturday afternoon to win OUA gold. Max Turek continued his winning ways beating his teammates Andrew Davies and Alex Drover to win the individual title in 24:36. The McMaster men’s team will likely be the favourites to win heading into U Sports.

McMaster’s Max Turek, Alex Drover and Andrew Davies went 1-2-3 at the 2022 OUA XC Championships. Photo: Zachary Sikka

In the women’s race, it was Sadie-Jane Hickson of the Guelph Gryphons who won the 8K race in 29:26. Hickson got her redemption after missing out on the podium in 2021. Her teammate Nina Whitford finished in second, only six seconds back of Hickson, helping Guelph earn back-to-back OUA titles.

In two weeks, the top teams across Canada will converge at The Links at Brunello Golf Course in Halifax, N.S., for the 2022 U Sports XC Championships. Check out our recent men’s and women’s power rankings for all your U Sports information.

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