Examining the Interlock

Photo is of the large pile of dirt a city of Montreal truck dumped on the start line moments before the women’s race. #montrealtypical

For the last few years, the AUS and RSEQ have been combining their collective strengths (such as they are) to put on a pretty competitive late-season meet. Instead of the houseleague-style Quebec or AUS meet that is inevitable in a small conference with not a lot of depth, the fields assembled were, this year, enough to attract top ranked teams Queens (Women 2nd, Men 5th) and McMaster (Women 6th, Men 6th) to play. Despite some well-documented and unfortunate snafus with the results, in the end, a clearer picture of the eastern conferences, and the CIS, developed.

It was perhaps not unexpected that the Queen’s women would dominate, after their performance at Vic Matthews, and indeed, the 1-2 punch of Staelhi and Cotes proved formidable again as the twin Gaels rocked the 6k course a good 30 seconds faster than anyone else and took the team title with 42 points. This was also helpful for the finish-line crew. The surprise team on the day were the Dalhousie women, who knocked off 6th ranked McMaster and 8th ranked McGill. Dalhousie has featured at number 7 in coaches poll, but were mostly forgotten by our Classic Kitely-McInnes Report CIS-XC Poll at Montreal Endurance brought to you by New Balance panel. Ellen Chappel and Natalie Sachrajda led the way for the Tigers, as they finished 16 points up on Mac at 77. Still close, but not bad. McGill has had a quiet year, but were a measely point behind the Marauders at 94.

On the men’s side, Les Boys from Laval dominated again, even as John Kuto from St. Mary’s gave Chuck a run for his money. Kuto and Philibert-Thiboutot ran side by each like a pair of toasts until the final hill, where the 3:40 1500m runner from Laval pulled away and won by 4 sec, 24:08 to 24:12. Despite knowing how loaded up the Rouge et Or were for this one, Kuto’s gotta be in the mix for All-Canadian now. So how loaded up were they? Check out Chuck’s tweet from Wednesday night:

And this one from Manny (who got pipped by teammate Benjamin Raymond at the line):

So Laval held on to their #2 ranking by staying ahead of Queens and Mac with 37 points. The guests from Ontario flipped their positions, as the Hamiltonians came in ranked 5th in the coaches poll and 5th at KMMTLENB, while Queens were ranked 7th there and 6th here. The difference-maker was Alex Wilkie, a rookie who has been moving up the charts all year. His 16th place performance gave Queens a comfortable margin of 48 to 60 over the Lionel Sanders-less Marauders. St. FX and Dalhousie were 4th and 5th, ahead of Sherbrooke and McGill, for bragging rights to the Interlock Cup.*

On the Quebec side, things don’t change much for the men: we know Laval is going to win it, Sherbrooke seems to have a lock on 2nd, and McGill…still has not finished a full team. The question is whether this is good or bad for the Redmen. A healthy, full squad could compete with the Vert et Or and punch a ticket to London (McGill must finish in the top two for the university to send them). We will know in two weeks.

Good job to Sarah Bergeron-Larouche for taking the top RSEQ spot ahead of early-season favourite Frédérique Latraverse of Laval and McGill’s Jess Porfilio. Here’s the thing though: we know Laval was loaded up. Fred looked tired. If she rests up, she is still the one to beat, in my mind. Porfilio has been getting stronger all year, however, and that extra K at the end is to her advantage. I think it is to Bergeron-Larouche’s advantage as well (she boasts a 36:59 10k road PB). If only the three of them weren’t such lovely people, we might see an intense rivalry. What we will see is some fast women pushing each other at the golf course in Sherbrooke, and that will do just fine!

Here is Interlock scored only for Quebec teams:

Laval 15 (1-2-3-4-5)
Sherbrooke 65 (8-9-12-16-20)
McGill 81 (10-11-17-19-24)
UQTR 110 (13-14-23-27-33)
Concordia 136 (15-28-30-31-32)
UQAM 177 (21-34-39-41-42)

McGill 33 (2-4-6-10-11)
Sherbrooke 45 (5-7-8-12-13)
Laval 64 (3-9-14-15-23)
UQTR 106 (1-21-26-28-30)
Concordia 137 (16-18-31-34-38)
UQAM 161 (20-29-36-37-39)
UQAC 217 (35-44-45-46-47)

Full, official and final results at Trackie.

(*there is no such thing)