CIS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: SPARTANS TO RACE ON THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM

CROSS COUNTRY
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011
CIS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CIS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: SPARTANS TO RACE ON THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM

LANGLEY, British Columbia –
The Trinity Western men’s and women’s cross country teams will send six athletes each to this weekend’s Laval University hosted CIS national championship to be run Saturday.

Close to 250 student-athletes from 25 schools are set to battle for CIS supremacy on the Plains of Abraham, with the women’s five-kilometre race scheduled for 1 p.m., followed by the men’s 10km at 1:40 p.m.

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS

2010 men’s CIS: 19th
2010 men’s CW: 6th
Last CIS men’s title: N/A
Last CW men’s title: N/A
CIS men’s ranking: N/A

2010 women’s CIS: N/A
2010 women’s CW: N/A
Last CIS women’s title: N/A
Last CW women’s title: N/A
CIS women’s ranking: N/A

Key Additions: Fiona Benson, Blair Johnston

Key Returnees: Alison Jackson (nee Farkash), Marissa Ratzlaff, Jason Carwile

With head coach Laurier Primeau at the help for his first CIS season, the Spartans cross country teams have been vastly improved in their second year back at the varsity level at Trinity Western.

The Spartans have been led all season by Alison Jackson and Fiona Benson on the women’s side and Blair Johnston on the men’s side.

Most recently at the B.C. Club Provincial Championships, Benson and Johnston, who were the only Spartans competing in the race, each won the junior events in their respective divisions.

Prior to that, the highlight of season was the Western Washington Invitational where Jackson finished the women’s six kilometre event in sixth with a time of 22:04 and Benson was eighth in a time of 22:11 while Johnston finished the men’s 10 kilometre race 19th in 32:36.

Following Johnston on the men’s side is a competitive group that includes Jason Carwile, Mihai Prajea,  Chris Voth, Alex Pchenitchnikov and Andrew Ott.

On the women’s side, after Jackson and Benson, the team that will travel to Montreal includes Marissa Ratzlaff, Nicole Bell and Katelynn Ramaga and Apri Van Woerden.

The Guelph Gryphons have been untouchable in recent years and are favoured once again to sweep the team titles on Nov. 12 after winning both OUA conference banners for the seventh consecutive season.

The Guelph women are aiming for a seventh straight CIS crown, while the men are looking for their sixth title in as many years. The Gryphons own the all-time record for most overall CIS team championships with 17, four more than Victoria.

“We knew we were coming in with strong teams, and we wanted to use this step for the national championships, said Guelph head coach Dave Scott Thomas after the Ontario league championship meet, where his women’s team placed five runners in the top eight to win the OUA banner by 32 points ahead of McMaster and his men’s squad placed five athletes in the top seven to prevail by 20 points over Windsor.

“We know the competition will be deeper and tougher at the CIS championships. So today we went in with strategies to try and set up that competition and go for some national titles.”

Guelph runners have also enjoyed tremendous individual success on the men’s side in recent years at the CIS meet, with Kyle Boorsma (2010) and Matt Brunsting (2008, 2009) winning the last three gold medals. As if their roster wasn’t deep enough, the Gryphons added prior to the 2010 season Alex Genest, who was crowned in 2007 as a member of the Sherbrooke Vert & Or.

Andrew Nixon and Ross Proudfoot hope to perpetuate the tradition on Saturday following a 1-2 finish at the OUA championships. Genest was fourth at that meet, behind Windsor’s Matt Walters.

The only area where Guelph hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success lately on the national stage is in the women’s individual race. Lindsay Carson, who triumphed in 2007, is the only Gryphon to capture CIS gold in the last six years.  

The trend continued at the Ontario championships as Toronto’s Tamara Jewett crossed the finish line in front of Guelph teammates Geneviève Lalonde and Andrea Secaffien.

In the other CIS conferences this season, Dalhousie (women) and St. Francis Xavier (men) claimed the team banners in the AUS, while McGill (women) and Laval (men) took first place at the RSEQ rendez-vous.

Dalhousie’s Holly Van Gestel and StFX’s Connor McGuire won individual gold in the Atlantic conference, while Laval teammates Catherine Cormier and Jean-Samuel Lapointe were crowned Quebec champs.

“Our goal from the start of the season has been to finish in the top five in Canada on the men’s side. But following our results at the provincial championships, our athletes have started talking about a potential team medal, which would be a first in the history of the Rouge et Or program,” said Félix-Antoine Lapointe, head coach of host Laval.

There are no cross-country championships in the Canada West conference but CWUAA schools are still represented at the CIS meet. The Calgary Dinos finished third in the women’s standings a year ago. Regina’s Kelly Wiebe placed third in the men’s race each of the past two seasons and is set to compete for the Cougars in Quebec City.

CIS CROSS-COUNTRY NOTES: Laval is hosting the CIS championships for the third time in six years... Two former CIS cross-country stars qualified for the 2012 Olympics marathon earlier this fall... Eric Gillis (StFX), the 2003 CIS individual champion and a four-time all-Canadian, and Reid Coolsaet (Guelph), the 2002 CIS bronze medallist and a three-time all-Canadian, will both compete at the London Games... Gillis represented Canada on 10,000 at the 2008 Olympics... Thirty-three former CIS cross-country runners, including 21 men and 12 women, have represented Canada at past Olympics.

CANADA WEST CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW

ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS & PANDAS

2010 men’s CIS: 10th
20110men’s CW: 5th
Last CIS men’s title: 1980
Last CW men’s title: 2004
CIS men’s ranking: N/A

2010 women’s CIS: 6th
2010 women’s CW: 3rd
Last CIS women’s title: N/A
Last CW women’s title: 1997
CIS women’s ranking: N/A

Key addition: Erin Humphrys

Key returnees: Hayley Degaust, Alana Soderberg, Nicole Soderberg and Graeme Law

Key departures: Joel Lauzon, Maxime Leboeuf and Jamie Weikum

Alberta is headed to the CIS national championships, November 12 at Université Laval, looking for a top 10 finish in both the men’s and women’s events.

Head coach Georgette Reed, now in her ninth season, has a total of 14 athletes making the trip to Quebec, including a veteran Pandas team and a young Golden Bears squad. The Pandas represent Alberta’s best chance at a Canada West medal, as well as a national top 10 finish. Alberta has been ranked in the No.10 spot among CIS women’s teams all season, as well as fourth among the Canada West teams behind perennial power Victoria, as well as Saskatchewan and Calgary.

As there is no conference championship in cross-country, the CIS meet also serves as the Canada West championship as well, meaning the top placing Canada West teams will take home the conference banners. Last season at Sherbrooke University, the Pandas finished sixth in the nation, while the Golden Bears finished 10th. Among their fellow Canada West competitors, the Pandas collected third place, while the Bears were fifth.

Hayley Degaust, Alana Soderberg, Nicole Soderberg, and fifth-year University of Saskatchewan transfer Erin Humphreys are the key athletes for the Pandas. Degaust was a first team All-Canadian in 2010, and the fourth-year runner from Edmonton will be counted on for a big result in Laval.

The Golden Bears, meanwhile, will be led by Graeme Law, while veterans Donovan Hacking and Richard Renaud should post strong personal results as well.

CALGARY DINOS

2010 men’s CIS: 6th
2010 men’s CW: 2nd
Last CIS men’s title: N/A
Last CW men’s title: 2008
CIS men’s ranking: #7

2010 women’s CIS: 3rd
2010 women’s CW: 1st
Last CIS women’s title: 2003
Last CW women’s title: 2010
CIS women’s ranking: #7

The Calgary Dinos head to the CIS championships in Quebec City following a solid regular season campaign.

At the opening meet in Saskatoon, the Calgary men took the team title while the women finished a close second behind host Saskatchewan. At a meet in Spokane, Wash. mid-October, the Dinos held their own but were unable to recapture their team titles. However, they did manage to defend their Stewart Cup title in Edmonton to win the Alberta provincial title.

The women’s team has been led by a strong performance from Grace Kary, who has led the way for the Dinos in each of the three races so far and should challenge for the Canada West individual title. The rest of the women’s team consists of fifth-year stalwart Faye Stenning, Bridget Pyke, Maria Fox, Katie Anker, Alyssa Altomare, and Maryse L’Heureux.

On the men’s side, Curtis Merry has been running consistently for Calgary. He’s joined by a veteran group of runners that includes Gareth Hadfield, Sam Dorosz, Brad Bickley, Thomas Pernel, Adam Wasylyshyn, and Travis Brown.

MANITOBA BISONS

2010 men’s CIS: 8th
2010 men’s CW: 4th
Last CIS men’s title: 1989
Last CW men’s title: 1990
CIS men’s ranking: N/A

2010 women’s CIS: 13th
2010 women’s CW: 5th
Last CIS women’s title: N/A
Last CW women’s title: 2002
CIS women’s ranking: N/A

WINNIPEG – The Bison women have four of seven returning members from last season’s team who competed at the CIS Championships, led by fifth-year Lacey deJong (nee: Ginter). She has the best results so far this season for the Bisons with a ninth at the U of Saskatchewan Open, a 14th at the Stewart Cup and 27th at the Roy Griak Invitational. In addition, deJong was a conference all-star in 2009

The team has depth as all other runners will battle to be in the top five for Manitoba. Fourth-year Alice Sherwin has past CIS National experience and fifth-year Alex Bell will make it five-for-five attending CIS championships and has had her best season this season with two top 25 finishes. Third-year Nicole Dubois ran last season at CIS Nationals, while third-year Michelle Lavoie, second-year Stevie Moore and second-year Jacky Phalen have all steadily improved.

The Bison men have four of seven members from last season CIS squad. Third-year Calvary deJong has been strong with three top 10 finishes, with a fourth at U of Saskatchewan Open, fifth at Manitoba Championship and eighth in Stewart Cup. He was third for the Bisons, 52nd overall at CIS in 2010.

Other Bisons with past CIS Championship are fifth-year Colin Shepherd, making his fourth appearance at CIS Nationals, placed second at the Manitoba Championship and eighth at U of Saskatchewan Open this season. Fourth year Elliott Cooke has two top-15 finishes and second-year Thomas Miller was second in Manitoba Championship, eighth at Saskatchewan. In his fifth year, Travis Toet makes his first CIS Nationals appearance.

For the 2011 CIS Nationals, a CIS top 10 finish and CW top three is attainable.

REGINA COUGARS

2010 men’s CIS: 7th
2010 men’s CW: 3rd
Last CIS men’s title: N/A
Last CW men’s title: 2009
CIS men’s ranking: #9

2010 women’s CIS: N/A
2010 women’s CW: N/A
Last CIS women’s title: N/A
Last CW women’s title: N/A
CIS women’s ranking: N/A

REGINA – With two-time first-team All-Canadian Kelly Wiebe unable to run due to an injury, it will be up to fourth-year runner Iain Fyfe and sophomore Matt Johnson to lead the Regina Cougars men’s team at the CIS championships.

Fyfe, a three-time Canada West All-Star who was also a Second Team All-Canadian last year, finished in eighth place at the 2010 CIS championships with a time of 32:54 on the 10 km course. Johnson, a conference Second Team All-Star last year, is greatly improved from 2010 and is running stride-for-stride with Fyfe this season.

Andrew Thomas, Marc Beaton, and Michael Middlemiss round out the men’s team’s five-man roster.

On the women’s side, third-year runner Karissa LePage is expected to lead the Cougars. Rookie Avery Westberg has looked strong in her first season of CIS competition, while veteran Kaytlyn Criddle should run very near to Westberg’s pace.

Allison Bonk and Katelyn Silversides will also run for the Cougars as the U of R fields a full women’s team at the CIS championships for the first time in program history.

SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES

2010 men’s CIS: 16th
2010 men’s CW: 6th
Last CIS men’s title: 1968
Last CW men’s title: 1979
CIS men’s ranking: N/A

2010 women’s CIS: 10th
2010 women’s CW: 4th
Last CIS women’s title: N/A
Last CW women’s title: N/A
CIS women’s ranking: #4

SASKATOON – The Saskatchewan Huskies women’s team will feature the 2010 Canada West champion in fifth-year Caitlin Warkentin and 2009 Canada West champion, fifth-year Jodi Souter. Souter, a red-shirt last year, has picked up where she left off in 2009 placing second, first and third in three meets this fall.  Warkentin, who is looking to follow up a strong 2010, has a sixth-place finish this season.

Also competing for the Huskie women are fifth-year Marcia Richards, second-year athletes Paule Bertholet, Rachael Edwards, along with first-year runners Gabrielle Edwards, Leia Fedyk and Courtney Sjodin.

The Huskies will enter a men’s team for the third straight year. Fourth-year Samir Marin, the top finisher from the 2010 championships, returns to lead the Huskie squad.  Marin finished 30th in Canada West and 109th in the CIS.

Two other Huskies gained valuable CIS experience last year with third-year Riley McGee and second-year Eric Mueller attending the CIS Championship last fall. The Huskie men’s team will also feature fifth-year Johnathan Ell, and a trio of first-years in Davis Guenther, Emmett Harrison and Christopher Schindel.  

VICTORIA VIKES

2010 men’s CIS: 4th
2010 men’s CW: 1st
Last CIS men’s title: 1997
Last CW men’s title: 2010
CIS men’s ranking: #3

2010 women’s CIS: 4th
2010 women’s CW: 2nd
Last CIS women’s title: 2001
Last CW women’s title: 2009
CIS women’s ranking: T#2

Both of Victoria teams are ranked highly by CIS and hoping to make the podium at the 2011 CIS championships in Quebec City on Nov. 12.

The women’s team boasts rookie Ellen Pennock and senior Deirdre Moran, two runners who potential All-Canadians along with the experienced Alicia Roske, Laura Mitic, Shauna McInnis, Kate Dixon, Stephanie Trenholm, Brittany Therrien and rookie Grace Annear round out the women's roster. Riley McQueen is the alternate.

On the men’s side, Cliff Childs and rookie Ryan Cassidy, a Canadian junior national team member, lead the men's team. Dylan Haight, Karl Robertson, Doug Oxland, Josh Clouthier, Thomas Riva, Kyle Irvine and freshmen Jackson Bocksnick and Cody Therrien round out the roster.

CIS CROSS-COUNTRY TEAM CHAMPIONS

Women

2010 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2009 Guelph (at Queen’s)
2008 Guelph (at Laval)
2007 Guelph (at Victoria)
2006 Guelph (at Laval)
2005 Guelph (at Dalhousie)
2004 Dalhousie (at Guelph)
2003 Calgary (at Moncton)
2002 Toronto (at Western)
2001 Victoria (at Sherbrooke)
2000 Victoria (at Toronto)
1999 Victoria (at RMC / Queen’s)
1998 Victoria (at Waterloo)
1997 Guelph (at Western)
1996 Waterloo (at McGill)
1995 Windsor (at Western)
1994 Victoria (at Western)
1993 Calgary (at Dalhousie)
1992 Calgary (at McGill)
1991 Toronto (at Victoria)
1990 Western (at Ottawa)
1989 Western (at UBC)
1988 Western (at Laval)
1987 Victoria (at Victoria)
1986 Victoria (at Western)
1985 Victoria (at Sherbrooke)
1984 Western (at Guelph)
1983 Western (at Laurentian)
1982 Western (at Laurentian)
1981 Western (at Lethbridge)
1980 Victoria (at Guelph)

Men

2010 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2009 Guelph (at Queen’s)
2008 Guelph (at Laval)
2007 Guelph (at Victoria)
2006 Guelph (at Laval)
2005 Windsor (at Dalhousie)
2004 Windsor (at Guelph)
2003 Windsor (at Moncton)
2002 Guelph (at Western)
2001 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2000 Guelph (at Toronto)
1999 Guelph (at RMC / Queen's)         
1998 Windsor (at Waterloo)
1997 Victoria (at Western)
1996 Victoria (at McGill)
1995 Victoria (at Western)
1994 Victoria (at Western)
1993 UBC (at Dalhousie)
1992 Sherbrooke (at McGill)
1991 Toronto (at Victoria)
1990 Ottawa (at Ottawa)
1989 Manitoba (at UBC)
1988 Manitoba (at Laval)
1987 Ottawa (at Victoria)
1986 Ottawa (at Western)
1985 Western (at Sherbrooke)
1984 Queen's (at Guelph)
1983 Queen's (at Laurentian)
1982 Toronto (at Laurentian)
1981 Queen's (at Lethbridge)
1980 Alberta (at Guelph)
1979 Queen's (at Toronto)
1978 Toronto (at Toronto)
1977 Toronto (at Queen's)
1976 Western (at Guelph)
1975 Toronto (at Victoria)
1974 Toronto (at Guelph)
1973 OUAA All-Stars (at RMC / Queen's)
1972 OUAA All-Stars (at RMC)
1971 Western (at UNB)
1970 Western (at UBC)
1969 Guelph (at MacDonald)
1968 Saskatchewan (at Dalhousie)
1967 Toronto (at Guelph)
1966 Toronto (at Guelph)
1965 Toronto (at Guelph)
1964 Manitoba (at Guelph)
1963 McMaster (at Guelph)

CIS CROSS-COUNTRY INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS

Women

2010 Jessica Pearo, McMaster
2009 Megan Brown, Toronto
2008 Megan Brown, Toronto
2007 Lindsay Carson, Guelph
2006 Megan Brown, Toronto
2005 Beth Wightman, Toronto
2004 Kristina Rody, Guelph
2003 Beth Wightman, Queen’s
2002 Sarah Dillabaugh, Ottawa
2001 Beth Wightman, Queen's
2000 Debbie Buhlers, Waterloo
1999 Teresa Duck, Western
1998 Nathalie Côté, Ottawa
1997 Nathalie Côté, Ottawa
1996 Nathalie Côté, Ottawa
1995 Missy McCleary, Windsor
1994 Linda Thyer, McGill
1993 Lisa Harvey, Calgary
1992 Lisa Harvey, Calgary
1991 Anna Gunasekera, Victoria
1990 Anna Gunasekera, Victoria
1989 Lucy Smith, Dalhousie
1988 Lucy Smith, Dalhousie
1987 Brenda Shackleton, Victoria
1986 Brenda Shackleton, Victoria
1985 Brenda Shackleton, Victoria
1984 Jill Purola, Western
1983 Sylvia Ruegger, Guelph
1982 Nancy Rooks, York
1981 Anne-Marie Malone, Queen’s
1980 Sylvia Ruegger, Guelph

Men

2010 Kyle Boorsma, Guelph
2009 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2008 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2007 Alex Genest, Sherbrooke
2006 Geoffrey Kerr, Calgary
2005 Cristiano Mauricio, Windsor
2004 Cristiano Mauricio, Windsor
2003 Eric Gillis, StFX
2002 Jamie Epp, Saskatchewan
2001 Jerry Ziak, Victoria
2000 Jamie Epp, Saskatchewan
1999 Graham Cocksedge, Victoria
1998 Jeremy Deere, Calgary
1997 Guy Schultz, Western
1996 Éric Jobin, Sherbrooke
1995 Jeff Schiebler, UBC
1994 Joël Bourgeois, Moncton
1993 Brendan Matthias, Toronto
1992 Graeme Fell, UBC
1991 Brendan Matthias, Toronto
1990 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1989 Richard Charrette, Ottawa
1988 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1987 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1986 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1985 Bob Rice, Ottawa
1984 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1983 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1982 Brian Rhodes, Alberta
1981 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1980 Paul Williams, Toronto
1979 Peter Butler, Calgary
1978 Paul Williams, Toronto
1977 Paul Williams, Guelph
1976 Brian Stride, Brock
1975 Joe Sax, Western
1974 John Sharp, Toronto
1973 John Sharp, Toronto
1972 Rick Munro, Dalhousie
1971 Grant McLaren, Western
1970 Dave Smith, York
1969 Grant McLaren, Guelph
1968 Dave Smith, York
1967 David Bailey, Toronto
1966 David Bailey, Toronto
1965 Jerome Drayton, Toronto
1964 Chris Williamson, UNB
1963 Bruce Kidd, Toronto

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca.

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Last Updated: 2013-08-22
Author: Mark Janzen