The old Gryphon Open cross country meet will undergo a facelift this year and has been transformed into a cross country carnival. With 12 races ranging in distance from 1 kilometre to 7.5 kilometres and ranging in age from four to eighty, there will be something for everyone. Another major change is a new name, the meet is now called the New Balance Vic Matthews Open in honour of the former University of Guelph Hall of Fame coach who passed away in 2004.
The action starts at 9:30 am with the Falling Leaves Community 4 kilometre race followed by the Falling Leaves Community 7.5 kilometre race at 10:00 am. A free non-competitive kids race will follow at 11:00 am, with the main events of the day the Vic Matthews races set to be run at 11:20 am for the women's 4 km race and 12:00 pm for men's 7.5 km race. After the Vic Matthews races will be a series of Minor Track races put on in association with AGSI Flyers.
Expected to compete in the Vic Matthews women's race are last year's CIS (Canadian University) Rookie of The Year Tamara Jewett from Toronto, All-Canadians Jess Vanhie and Lydia Frost from the hometown Gryphons and high school star Emily Dreidger from the local Speed River club. On the men's side last year's CIS Champion Matt Brunsting will kick off his final season at home, he will be joined on a strong Gryphon team by last year's CIS runner-up Kyle Boorsma and last year's Ontario University Rookie of The Year Rob Jackson. Looking to dethrone the Gryphons will be a powerful alumni team led by Reid Coolsaet , who will be in his first action since competing at last month's World Track and Field Championships in Berlin. Coolsaet will be joined by seven fellow former All-Canadians on an outstanding University of Guelph Alumni team.
Strong university teams from Windsor, Waterloo, York and Toronto will all be looking to unseat the defending National Champion Gryphons on their home turf.
The races will be held on the same course as the AGSI Canadian Cross Country Championships, which is on the north side of the University of Guelph Arboretum by the RJ Hilton Centre.
University of Guelph
Track and Field