In this weekend’s U Sports action, we saw several teams and athletes punch their tickets at their conference championships to the U Sports Cross-Country Championships in Quebec City. The only conference that hasn’t held their championship is OUA, which will be this Saturday in London, Ont. Here’s an analysis of the results you missed on the weekend.
Canada West Championship
The UBC Thunderbirds dominated both the men’s and women’s races. The men’s and women’s teams placed four athletes in the top-12 to secure a win and the Canada West title. The men’s team was led once again by Thomas Nobbs, who has been in exceptional form, winning the last three of four races. Nobbs finished the 8 km race 30 seconds ahead of his UBC teammate, Tyler Dozzi, who was second. Eric Lutz of U Calgary was third.
The women of UBC Okanagan are on a roll, as triathlon-Olympian Joanna Brown won the Canada West title, crossing the line with her teammate Lauren McNeil. Brown caught up to McNeil after she got out to an early lead. Both UBC Okanagan athletes finished 38 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher, Glynis Sim of UBC. One of the race favourites, Courtney Hufsmith, bowed out of the race after the second lap, hurting #4 ranked Saskatchewan’s chances at the title. The sixth-ranked UBC team defended their 2019 championship finishing with 46 points, ahead of second-place UBC Okanagan’s 60 points. The top three teams all punched their tickets to the U Sports Championship on Nov. 20.
There was an upset in the men’s RSEQ 8 km race, as McGill’s Matthew Beaudet came away with the late victory, ahead of Laval’s Jean-Simon Desgangés and Jonathan Tedeschi. Beaudet has put together a great season, winning RSEQ rookie of the year and running under 14-minutes in the 5,000m earlier this summer. The #2 Laval men individually finished second to 10th-place to win the RSEQ championship with 20 points. McGill was second with 59 points, and U of Montreal was third with 82 points.
In the women’s race, Laval’s Jessy Lacourse continued her winning ways on the Plains of Abraham, finishing ahead of her teammate Catherine Beauchemin by ten seconds. The Laval women were the first four across the finish line to defend their RSEQ title. The #1 ranked team in the country will go into the U Sports championship with home course advantage, as they are set to host the race on the same course as the RSEQ championship.
Out east at Université de Moncton, Siona Chisholm led the women’s 8 km from start to finish to win the women’s AUS individual title by a minute and a half. Chisholm’s StFX X-Women were also named the AUS champions, bringing home the banner for the first time since 2012. Andrew Peverill of St. Mary’s University was the individual men’s champion, finishing first in a field of 53 runners. This is Peverill’s third first-place finish of the season, and his second consecutive AUS individual championship win. The Dalhousie Tigers men’s team continued their run of stellar performances, upsetting the StFX men to win the AUS championship with 36 points over StFX’s 52 points.
Ontario College Cross Country Championship:
Seth Marcaccio of Fanshawe College in London, Ont. added another 2021 OCAA Country Country Championship to his resume. Marcaccio made his triumphant return to the OCAA racing circuit this year, after winning both the provincial and national championships in 2016. Cross-country is Marcaccio’s forte, as he was the USATF 50-mile trail champion in 2018. Tyler Jones of St. Clair College finished second, 15 seconds behind Marcaccio, while Sandy Freeland of Fanshawe was third.
In the women’s 6 km, Catherine Irwin of St. Lawerence College was the first woman to cross the finish line, 26 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Karyn Blackney of Fleming College. Faith Nieson of Laurier Brantford was third. All three athletes will compete at the Canadian Collegiate Championships in Calgary on Nov. 13.