CIS Rankings: The Final Countdown

After much ado, here are the final Montreal Endurance rankings are here. Not classy enough for Vigars’ banquet, these rankings are hot!

In all seriousness, this is for fun, here’s hoping all the men and women of the cross have the race of their lives tomorrow.

1. Guelph
With defending CIS champ Gen Lalonde leading the way, OUA ROY Madeleine Yungblut just behind, and world U23 triathlon bronze medalist Jo Brown as their 5th runner, the Gryphons are poised to win an 8th consecutive women’s title. Their 6th and 7th runners would lead most teams. Get ready for a dom-show.

2. McMaster
Even with number 1 Lindsay Carson taking a pass at OUs, McMaster’s score was half of Western’s. Coates and MacDonald are both All-Canadian threats, and having run a 6k earlier in the year is yet another advantage the Marauders have over the rest of the field.

3. Victoria
Despite not having raced much, the Vikes have raced well. They are coming off a dominant win at Corvalis, Oregon, and have run twice at the longer 6k distance, which could be an advantage. Though last year’s ROY Ellen Pennock is not on the squad following a solid 13th place finish at the world U23 triathlon championships, McDonald and van Vliet are more than capable of leading this team.

4. McGill
Who leads the Martlets? It doesn’t seem to matter, and that’s a good thing. Pfister, Porfilio and Cummings have all taken turns in the 1 slot, and trusty veteran Sarah McCuaig is there should any of them falter. Pfister is out, but the depth of this squad is such that, on a perfect day, McGill could stand still on the podium.

5. Western
What an up and down season for the host club. Becky’s Bitties opened with a loss to McGill, at McGill, followed it up with a solid run on their home course, had a rough day in Chicago, then destroyed the competition at Oakland College with not only a perfect score, but a sweep of the top 13. At OUAs they were missing their captain, but still managed to take 3rd place. A season full of adversity and a home course advantage could be just the combo the Stangs need.

6. Calgary
Western teams don’t seem to race as much as their eastern counterparts, and always seem to outperform expectations at CIS. So where do the Dinos stand? They didn’t open their racing season until October. They faced real Canadian conditions at the Stewart Cup. Grace Kary is a legit all-Canadian contender. Their depth runners are tightly bunched, but perhaps a little too far back? Coach Lamont always finds a way.

7. St. FX
Led by a solid, but not spectacular top 3 in Hardy, Kannenberg and Manuel, the X-Women haven’t faced much competition outside of their conference this season. Without Kannenberg at the Quebec-Atlantic conference interlock meet, they were well behind McGill and even lost to Dalhousie. They came back to win AUS with all hands on deck. That shows what a close race it will be for the top ten, and how one runner can make a difference.

8. Windsor
Like workers on the line at GM, the Lancers keep putting out product. Steady, solid results, always hanging around, doing wholesome, blue-collar work. Corrick is quietly an all-Canadian contender, and the 3-4-5 combo of Thompson, Moore and Kellam finished within a second at OUAs. If they can’t repeat that feat, that’s a tough block to beat.

9. Toronto
Toronto’s number 1, Jewett, out with an injury, the Blues will have a nice low score for their first runner. The Hennsey sisters have been consistent this season. If the depth runners come through, as they have been known to do for UofT, these Harriers from Hogtown could finish even higher.

10. Saskatchewan
The tenth spot is always the hardest to pick. Could be a good team that falls in the ranks, could be a wall-flower squad that finally gets picked at the big dance. The teams in 11th and 12th are close. But the sister power of the Huskies, plus that western advantage (the polls are mostly OUA biased), should put them in the top ten.

1. Guelph
The Gryphons will probably put two men on the podium. The question is, which two? Proudfoot, Nixon, Hendrikx and Sikubwabo have all shown they have the ability. Yves has had a typical rookie campaign: some ups and downs. The thing is, his downs are most runners’ ups. Proudfoot dominated the OUA championships, but Nixon and Hendrikx won’t just let their teammate go on Saturday. Who is Guelph’s 5th man? Grieve, Lecours, Holmes? I’m not sure it matters. Moulton could come out of retirement and they could still win this one.

2. Victoria
The Vikes have New Brunswick sensation Ryan Cassidy up front. They haven’t lost yet this year. To anyone, CIS, NCAA or NAIA. They have perfect weather to train in. Everyone pretty much wants to be them. Sounds like a recipe for a medal.

3. Windsor
Despite losing an important piece in Paul Janikowski, the Lancers retain their hold on a podium spot simply because, in my opinion, someone has to take it from them first. No matter what seems to befall the Lancers, and despite being in the shadow of their farm-school friends to the north-east, they’ve been just as far ahead of the rest of the field as they’ve been behind first place. The season started out with many questionable losses, but the Lancers keep performing. No reason to expect that to stop.

4. Regina
Of all the mid-pack teams, Regina gets the nod here because of one man. Iain Fyfe. The guy’s beard has hit another level this year. No, but seriously, can anyone beat Kelly Wiebe? He ran under 31minutes in a snowstorm at Stewart Cup. On an alleged “bad day” at Griak, he bested Nixon and Proudfoot by 20 seconds. And it looks as though there are enough Cougars for a full pride this year.

5. McMaster
A depeleted squad at OUAs was still enough for the second best Mac finish there ever. 2nd best? Is that what they’re happy with? Not likely. A full Marauders squad could see ex-Lancer Lionel Sanders take down his former team. And what a blog Jeremy Walsh could write! This race is tight.

6. Laval
Oh, les boys! Qu’est-qu’on peut-en dire de vous autres? On sait que Max Lapierre est un cirse de beau jeune homme. On sait que Chuck ne peu pas se faire pousser un stache pour ganger sa vie. Et J-S, as-tu jamais fais des series techniques dans ta vie? Quelle forme! En tout cas, awaie les boys, a vous le podium!

7. Calgary
The Dinos are a solid group with a tight spread. The typical make-up of a low top-ten team. If Bickely or Cloutier or both can bust out a good one, the Dinos could make a move into the mess that is the 2nd to 6th spots.

8. Queen’s
Coach Boyd is a distance man. His is not a squad of 4×800 guys, or milers, stretching it out for a season. These are hardened, life-long distance men. McGraw, Cashin, Archer, Loney…the names are gritty, like Kingston north of the strip. This team of townies is in the mix. Could be as high as 3rd. We have them at 8th for now.

9. St. FX
The X-men gave Laval a scare at the Quebec-Atlantic Interlock, but other than that, it’s hard to judge a team that only races in their own conference. Still, with a solid pack of runners, even if Conor McGuire isn’t quite top ten material, the X-Men will be in the chase.

10. Lakehead
The Timberwolves are the new hotness, and no, I’m not taking about Kobe. Dylan Brown picked up where Alistair left off, a lone wolf, running with the big dogs. But something happened to the pack up in T-Bay. Maybe they were taking tips from the Fins at The Hoito after their long runs. On a tough OUA course, the Lakers started nipping at the heels of the usual suspects. A team to watch.