CIS pre-race favourite Yves Sikubwabo delivers with win on home course

Laval's Yves Sikubwabo collected his first career Canadian university cross-country championship winning on his home course in Quebec City. (Photo: Jérôme Bergeron.)

Yves Sikubwabo
CIS Cross-Country
Photo: Mathieu Belanger.

University of Laval’s Yves Sikubwabo delivered with a win at the Canadian University Cross-Country Championships on home turf on Saturday. The Rouge et Or athlete made a strong mid-race move and never let up defeating Trinity Western’s Declan White by four seconds in 30:51 in the men’s 10K. (Scroll down for video.)

The Rwandan-born runner helped Laval win their first cross-country men’s team title in program history. It’s the second consecutive year that powerhouse Guelph did not win as Victoria ended their longstanding reign in 2015.

The top university runners in the nation raced on the Plains of Abraham with the men’s race having gone off at 1:40 p.m. local time, 40 minutes after the women. Conditions were cool on Saturday as many runners rocked the arm warmers and Sikubwabo being extra cautious and wearing a hat and neckwarmer.

RELATED: Women’s recap: Claire Sumner overtakes Queen’s teammate late to win CIS cross-country title.

With Sikubwabo’s mid-race move to break the race open, White was the only runner to follow closely as he remained between 5-10 seconds back of the Laval athlete. He hung on for second and helped Trinity Western (Langley, B.C.) win the silver medal in the men’s team competition. Connor Darlington of McMaster (Hamilton) was third in 30:57.

Yves Sikubwabo

Sikubwabo used to attend the University of Guelph but is finishing up his eligibility with Laval. He arrived in Canada for the 2010 World Junior Track and Field Championships representing Rwanda. Instead of returning home, he opted to travel to Ottawa from Moncton, the site of the event, and caught the eye of Mike Woods, a 2016 Olympian in cycling and former standout runner. A local family then adopted Sikubwabo, who would go on to have an illustrious high school career before university.

Saturday’s victory was a double gold performance as Laval dominated the team standings. The top five scorers contribute to an overall cumulative point total. Laval’s fifth runner finished 18th (in team scoring purposes) contributing to a 43-point performance. According to the country’s governing body for university athletics, a team has not won on its home course in the men’s division since 1990 when the University of Ottawa accomplished that feat.

Western finished third in the men’s team standings.

The Ontario university champion and beer mile world record holder Corey Bellemore finished seventh. Runner-up at OUAs, Kevin Tree, was fourth on Saturday.

Video replay

Yves Sikubwabo

Top-20 results (click for full results)

1 Yves Sikubwabo Universite Laval 1 M 30:51.0 3:05/K
2 Declan White Trinity Western University 195 M 30:56.0 3:06/K
3 Connor Darlington McMaster University 322 M 30:57.9 3:06/K
4 Kevin Tree Lakehead University 39 M 31:01.1 3:06/K
5 Antoine Thibeault Universite Laval 4 M 31:06.7 3:07/K
6 Alexandre Ricard Universite Laval 3 M 31:10.7 3:07/K
7 Corey Bellemore University of Windsor 122 M 31:12.0 3:07/K
8 Joel De Schiffart Trinity Western University 194 M 31:15.9 3:08/K
9 Jack Sheffar Western University 302 M 31:18.6 3:08/K
10 Jeff Tweedle McMaster University 321 M 31:18.7 3:08/K
11 Christopher Balestrini Western University 297 M 31:21.3 3:08/K
12 Ben Carson Western University 298 M 31:21.3 3:08/K
13 Adam Strueby University of Regina 190 M 31:22.0 3:08/K
14 Roman Justinen University of Calgary 338 M 31:23.5 3:08/K
15 Shoayb Bascal University of Victoria 220 M 31:26.8 3:09/K
16 Forrest Simpson University of Victoria 223 M 31:28.0 3:09/K
17 Emmanuel Boisvert Universite Laval 2 M 31:28.7 3:09/K
18 Alex Ullman University of Windsor 123 M 31:32.6 3:09/K
19 Caleb DeJong Trinity Western University 196 M 31:34.4 3:09/K
20 Dany Racine Universite Laval 6 M 31:35.9 3:10/K

Video of finish

CIS/U Sports History

Men’s team champions

2016 Laval (at Laval)
2015 Victoria (at Guelph)
2014 Guelph (at Memorial)
2013 Guelph (at Western)
2012 Guelph (at Western)
2011 Guelph (at Laval)
2010 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2009 Guelph (at Queen’s)
2008 Guelph (at Laval)
2007 Guelph (at Victoria)
2006 Guelph (at Laval)
2005 Windsor (at Dalhousie)
2004 Windsor (at Guelph)
2003 Windsor (at Moncton)
2002 Guelph (at Western)
2001 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2000 Guelph (at Toronto)
1999 Guelph (at RMC / Queen’s)
1998 Windsor (at Waterloo)
1997 Victoria (at Western)
1996 Victoria (at McGill)
1995 Victoria (at Western)
1994 Victoria (at Western)
1993 UBC (at Dalhousie)
1992 Sherbrooke (at McGill)
1991 Toronto (at Victoria)
1990 Ottawa (at Ottawa)
1989 Manitoba (at UBC)
1988 Manitoba (at Laval)
1987 Ottawa (at Victoria)
1986 Ottawa (at Western)
1985 Western (at Sherbrooke)
1984 Queen’s (at Guelph)
1983 Queen’s (at Laurentian)
1982 Toronto (at Laurentian)
1981 Queen’s (at Lethbridge)
1980 Alberta (at Guelph)
1979 Queen’s (at Toronto)
1978 Toronto (at Toronto)
1977 Toronto (at Queen’s)
1976 Western (at Guelph)
1975 Toronto (at Victoria)
1974 Toronto (at Guelph)
1973 OUAA All-Stars (at RMC / Queen’s)
1972 OUAA All-Stars (at RMC)
1971 Western (at UNB)
1970 Western (at UBC)
1969 Guelph (at MacDonald)
1968 Saskatchewan (at Dalhousie)
1967 Toronto (at Guelph)
1966 Toronto (at Guelph)
1965 Toronto (at Guelph)
1964 Manitoba (at Guelph)
1963 McMaster (at Guelph)

Men’s individual champions

2016 Yves Sikubwabo, Laval
2015 Aaron Hendrikx, Guelph
2014 Ross Proudfoot, Guelph
2013 Aaron Hendrikx, Guelph
2012 Kelly Wiebe, Regina
2011 Andrew Nixon, Guelph
2010 Kyle Boorsma, Guelph
2009 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2008 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2007 Alex Genest, Sherbrooke
2006 Geoffrey Kerr, Calgary
2005 Cristiano Mauricio, Windsor
2004 Cristiano Mauricio, Windsor
2003 Eric Gillis, StFX
2002 Jamie Epp, Saskatchewan
2001 Jerry Ziak, Victoria
2000 Jamie Epp, Saskatchewan
1999 Graham Cocksedge, Victoria
1998 Jeremy Deere, Calgary
1997 Guy Schultz, Western
1996 Éric Jobin, Sherbrooke
1995 Jeff Schiebler, UBC
1994 Joël Bourgeois, Moncton
1993 Brendan Matthias, Toronto
1992 Graeme Fell, UBC
1991 Brendan Matthias, Toronto
1990 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1989 Richard Charrette, Ottawa
1988 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1987 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1986 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1985 Bob Rice, Ottawa
1984 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1983 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1982 Brian Rhodes, Alberta
1981 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1980 Paul Williams, Toronto
1979 Peter Butler, Calgary
1978 Paul Williams, Toronto
1977 Paul Williams, Guelph
1976 Brian Stride, Brock
1975 Joe Sax, Western
1974 John Sharp, Toronto
1973 John Sharp, Toronto
1972 Rick Munro, Dalhousie
1971 Grant McLaren, Western
1970 Dave Smith, York
1969 Grant McLaren, Guelph
1968 Dave Smith, York
1967 David Bailey, Toronto
1966 David Bailey, Toronto
1965 Jerome Drayton, Toronto
1964 Chris Williamson, UNB
1963 Bruce Kidd, Toronto