Now that all the regular season races have taken place, we can look at the results and see what we can see. The individual stats are the number of seconds behind the leader for each race this season. The team stats are predicted finishes based on the average of individuals. First, here are the standings, based on head-to-head competition this fall:
Let’s look at the women’s side first:
With the introduction of Sarah-Michelle Brochu into the mix, it looks like Laval may be able to break up the McGill block on the top of the women’s race. While the Martlets may not end up with a perfect score, 7 in the top 10 is enough to win, by a lot. Caroline Pfister looks like a solid candidate to win the individual title as well, as she’s got an average of about 5 seconds up on the next best runner. But really she’s won two races by about 15 seconds, so she’s more dominant than the average numbers show.
The team race seems like it will play out McGill-Laval-Sherbrooke-Concordia, and the Trois-Rivières, Montréal and Chicoutimi bringing up the rear. The spread between the top four teams seems to be enough that we will avoid surprises if everyone finishes ok, but if a team were to lose a runner along the way, that could change. Sherbrooke has not really raced their women very much (as with the men), so it’s hard to say what they might be capable of.
As for the guys, CPT hasn’t lost yet, and Boisvert was right on his tail last weekend. Still, on average Noel-Hodge is in the mix as well. It doesn’t appear Lapointe will be able to challenge for the victory this year, but having him back certainly bolsters his team, and by the time CIS roll around, he should be a big asset. Lavoie on the other hand looked so controlled at UNB that one has to be suspicious of what his capabilities are. Rumour has it that he will forgo this season to save a year of eligibility, since he’s going to be away during the winter track season. Elsewhere in the top ten, it looks like Ben Raymond has quite a gap on the rest of the field. The pack of four Laval guys seem to be ahead of Soucy and Mavrovic, but the UQAM runner had a rough day in Fredericton, and the Sherbrooke runner (this is a recording) looked like he was not pushing at all.
I am not sure if Sherbrooke will be able to pick up 45 points to chase down Laval for 1st, but even after sandbagging the entire season, they still have a comfortable edge on McGill for 2nd. Their play could pay off big time, or it could blow up in their faces. If they do win, it will be an indictment of the current RSEQ system that calls for races almost every weekend: If the way to get the best out of the athletes is to train more and race less (and you know that doesn’t sound so crazy), why is the schedule so packed?