Now things are really rolling. Results from Western International, STFX Open, Cougar Trot and St. Martin’s Invitational can be found at Trackie.
OUA/RESQ: Most of the OUA, and three teams from Quebec (McGill, Laval and Concordia) race the Western International meet in London, Ontario. This course will be the site of the CIS championships in November.
On the ladies side, Tamara Jewett (17:39) of University of Toronto outlasted Lindsay Carson (17:45) of McMaster for the individual title, but Carson lead her Marauders to the team title over number one ranked Guelph. Before we get too excited, note that while this is the second time in two weeks the Gryphs have finished second, a look at the results shows they finished second with two completely different teams! The team Western included Secaffien (18:08), rookie Yungblut (18:17), Brown (18:32), and Lydia Frost (18:41). Meanwhile, the team that finished second last week at Queens featured Thompson (17:44), Nadine Frost (17:56) and Driedger (18:30). The times on the Queens course are probably comparable to the Thames Valley (Julie-Anne Staelhi of Queens ran both races and was only 2 seconds slower in London). Still yet to run are Ciara Kary and CIS champ Gen Lalonde. Other teams are certainly not complete yet either, but clearly Guelph is not concerned with early season team scores.
Further down the standings, the Western Mustangs edged out the McGill Martlets for third, flipping their placings from last week at McGill. Both teams had very tight 43 second 1-5 splits, but the difference was Becky “The Bear*” Pieterson (18:27), running through an abdominal injury to lead the lady ‘Stangs. Toronto finished ahead of Queen’s on the strength of Jewitt’s “low-stick” and a great run from rookie Kelly Hennessy (18:31).
The Gryphon men, also not running at full-strength, had no trouble topping the field, led by Aaron Hendrikx (24:56), who was given the win over teammate Andrew Nixon (24:56). Windsor Lancers Matt Walters (24:56) was also part of the dead heat podium. The Lancers quickly silenced any doubters (you’ll recall I had them ranked 7th, but noted that it was really a 6-way tie for 2nd), and returned to their accustomed spot as 2nd best. That is no slight though! The Lancers suffered a few significant losses in the off-season, but Fairall and Malloy have the reserves ready, as Nick Falk (26:09), Dave Meloche (26:12) and Fraser Kegel (26:15) rounded out their team, keeping them a head of a charging Laval Rouge et Or team.
The boys from Quebec moved up 20 points in the second half of the race, but without their potential number 2, and spiritual, emotional, musical and nutritional leader Jean-Samuel Lapointe, they were just a little short. But they proved they will be knocking on the door as well, come November.
AUS: The home team took both team and individual titles at the St. FX Open. Not sure if Tim Randall was giving Bernie a little gift there by not having last week’s runaway winner Freida Aspnaes racing, but in any case, Melissa Hardy (18:32) moved up a spot and got the W, leading her team to a 28 point victory over Dalhousie. Memorial University of Newfoundland unseated UNB from the third spot, but throw Aspnaes back in there and it’s a different ball game.
The X-Men swept the podium as Connor McGuire (26:26), Lee Wesselius (26:30) and Scott Donald (26:38) must be looking forward to October 13th in Odell Park when some fresh meat will arrive from La Belle Province. It will be interesting to see how these guys stack up against Philibert-Thiboutot, Noel-Hodge, and Lavoie-Lavoie.
Also of note, some young ladies from YHZ Track club placed just out of the top ten in this university race. Not an easy task, to race against adults!
There were a couple races out west. The highly ranked Victoria Vikes debuted some of their team at the St. Martin’s Invitational. On the women’s side, Madeline McDonald (22:09) was second over 6k, followed by Brittany Therrien (23:35), Riley McQueen (23:46) and Emma Bibault (24:12). If you are like me and have no idea what those 6k times mean, McDonald’s time is worth about 18:15-20. The other three would range from 19:30 to 20:00. The Vikes did not field a full scoring team.
The men did, however, and they were lead by Ryan Cassidy (25:40) and Forrest Simpson (25:45). In fact, the Vikes took 6 of the top 7 positions against teams from Western Washington, Alaska Fairbanks and St. Martin’s. They look to be a solid, tight team, with a bit more in the tank (transfer Matt Hulse, Flying Frenchman Olivier Collin, perhaps?).
A little further east, Iain Fyfe (25:25) achieved a life-long goal of finishing second to Kelly Wiebe (24:56) at the Cougar Trot for the 4th time. Wiebe won easily, but more importantly, the Cougars’ squad was tightly bunched, all under 26min. Yes, all 5 of them, and their 6th, Michael Middlemiss (26:37) was not far off. This could finally be the Cougs’ year.
In the ladies’ “Trot” Regina enjoyed a significant win in the individual race, as Karissa LePage (17:42) was well ahead of Jodi Souter (18:27) of the Queen City Striders, and the next CIS runner, Gabrielle Edwards (18:32) of Saskatchewan. Edwards finished second to Amélie Kretz in the Canadian Junior triathlon series this summer. She’s off to the World Championships in mid-October, so who knows what state she will be in come CIS.
Queen City took the team title (34), with UofS in second (39) and Regina in third (65).
So now that there have been some results, we can really get the speculation flying. Can anyone really stop Guelph, or is it already over? Which of the Gryphons will win the individual men’s title? Matt Walters, what do you think? Who is Frieda Aspnaes, and will she resurface? Next week races in Sherbrooke, Minnesota, and Waterloo will probably bring more questions than answers.
*As in “don’t poke The Bear”