Women’s mid-season poll from the Classic Kiteley-McInnes CIS-XC poll at Montreal Endurance brought to you by New Balance

Hey guys, I’m back again with your second round of the Montreal Endurance predictions. It’s October. Things have started to spice up a little as most teams have had a shot at showing us what we’re working with this year. It’s time for the real fun to begin! The air is getting a little crisper, the calves a little muddier, and the queens of the trails are starting to strut their stuff. While it’s always hard to tell this early on what is what…it’s always fun to stir the pot a little bit and speculate on the latest performances…

 

University of Guelph – 100pts

The Gryphs ladies opened up their season in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, heading home with a shiny team win for the 6km race. Solid results, with Katrina Allison and Katelyn Ayers getting the third and seventh place spots, respectively. Both girls were under 21 minutes, starting off the fall with a bang. Overall, the spread of the team was within a minute of each other. They sent a small group, missing a few of their key girls so we will have to see what kind of roster they whip out the next time they toe the line.

 

Trinity Western University – 83pts

With their stacked roster, they are right on our radar as a top team to watch for. The small group that travelled down to the UW Sundodger Invite showed that they are not here to mess around this year, as they gave a great showing against some of the big D1 NCAA schools. My girl Sarah Inglis took the win like a boss in the 6km Invite, as well as Regan Yee and Lisa Brookling both finishing under 21 minutes in the top 7 spots. Super excited to see what they whip out the next time they race. They always put on a good show.

 

University of Toronto – 83pts

On the East side, Garbiela Stafford is proving that she is a clear pick for one of the top cross country queens. She finished third at the Greater Louisville XC Classic, amongst a big field of quick Americans. Not as much depth with the U of T girls for this time around as the next best was Madeline Kelly about 40 seconds later, however they were missing a lot of key scorers. While Gollish is putting in work at altitude in Flagstaff, and I’m not sure why Jewett didn’t race, it’s that time of the season where a good block of training may trump sending a full team to race. I guess the Blues are leaving us waiting for more juicy results to delve over. Regardless, Stafford’s results have left me very impressed.

 

Queen’s University – 58pts

To join the Guleph crew for an early season battle, Queens sent a team down to Bethlehem, PA as well. Julie-Anne Staehli and Claire Sumner were right in the mix, as expected, giving Guelph some good pressure with Staehli and Sumner’s fifth and eleventh place finishes, respectively. It is safe to say those two top girls are looking super strong going forward, and will be what Queens need to make a run for a podium CIS spot.

University of Victoria – 47pts

My Vikes girls toed the line this past weekend at a small meet in Salem, Oregon to race a short 5km (I can’t believe I just called 5km short…). It was a good way to dust off the rust and bond together a team with a mix a bunch of young rookies and the experienced vets. Alison Hooper, Shauna McInnis, and 2014 Can West ROTY Chloe Hegland all snatching top ten spots while working well together tactically. With some true distance runners piecing together this roster as the team builds towards the big show…they might pull out something majestic.

Dalhousie University – 44pts

In the midst of a little RESQ/AUS throw-down at the interlock meet in Quebec, Dal came out of it with an overall third place finish, not a horrible not result but nothing overly impressive. With McGill and Laval ahead of them, they will have a lot of work ahead of them to make some moves when it comes to nationals. Kayte Kowal, Morgan Hawkes and Jeanna Macdonald were the top scorers within sea of Quebec runners in the top 20 spots. Based on the overall times, the course seemed to be pretty tough. We’ll have to see more results through the buildup of the season to see how the team is really shaping up.

Université Laval    38pts

Viva Laval! The girls were in the mix at the RESQ/AUS interlock meet. Seven girls flooding the top results, finishing in the top 20 spots giving them a team win. Second year Jeanne Mercier was the top girl, followed by Anne-Marie Gauthier and Marguerite Plante-dubé. If the girls can keep up this kind of group dominance, with the stars aligning on their side and the wild demeanor that the Quebecois are known to have, they may squeak their way up the rankings and shock us all.

McMaster University – 30pts

Fourth year Maddy McDonald is running respectably after coming off a good performance in London a couple weeks ago, as well as Chelsea Mackinnon. The two girls may be the glue the team needs, but as they are a part of the powerhouse OUA’s..it’ll be a tough one to crack. We’ll know more about this year’s squad once they race a little bit more through this month.

McGill University – 25pts

Having Melanie Myrand and Jullien Flynn come out of the interlock as the top two is a great sign for individual performances. With some others around the top twenty within the field, there is some early close competition within a lot of those schools with a decent amount of depth on the McGill team. Flynn was just outside a top twenty spot last year at nationals, so there is potential there for a big performance in November. These girls will be key counters for shaking up the results a little bit if they can keep this momentum going.

University of Calgary

Staying within the prairies, the Dino’s put on a great show against many of the Canada West teams. At the U of Sask meet Emma Cook-Clarke came away with the gold (a top ten superstar from last year’s CIS), contributing to an overall team victory. The meet itself wasn’t anything fast enough to alarm the top OUA schools, but a win is a win and those build confidence…confidence builds better and better results…don’t sleep on them just yet!

Laurentian University    17pts

The girls recently raced in a small 6km meet in Waterloo, but to be honest, it seemed more like a team workout on paper as they took majority of the top 12 spots minus a few that dotted the results. All of the times were decent, which is a good sign of group tactics and fitness and may be exactly what they need to pull something out to get in the CIS top ten or higher.

INDIVIDUALS: Sarah Inglis, Sasha Golish (with her post altitude training strength..she’s probably ready to unleash a beast and put on a show), Gabriella Stafford, Julie-Anne Staehli. Not super bold, as these girls are known for consistency and strong performances when it counts. Just waiting for a new face to come out of the woodworks in the next couple weeks to shake up the next predictions..