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Posted: October 18, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Gryphons Near Perfect At Queen's

It was a near perfect day for the University of Guelph Men's cross country team Saturday at the Queen's Invitational, while the Gryphon women also put on a dominate display. The race served as a preview for the CIS Championships which will be held in Kingston in four weeks time, it included all OUA teams with the exception of Windsor and Western.

The Gryphon men used a very similar tactic to that which propelled them to the OUA title last year on the course at Fort Henry. After a moderately paced opening first loop on the 2.5 kilometre course, a lead group of five separated themselves from the field. The group consisted of four Gryphons and Paul Chafe for the University of Toronto Track Club. The group continued together until Guelph's Matt Brunsting made his bid for the win, only teammate Allan Brett could cover the move and the two were clear of the field. Brunsting would go on to the win with Brett second in a reversal of the finishing order from last year's OUA Championships. Behind the lead two, Paul Chafe had gapped Guelph's John Parrott, but with 500 metres Parrott made a move and flew past Chafe to secure a Gryphon podium sweep. Rounding out the top five was the Gryphons' Nigel Wray, who was making his debut in a Guelph singlet. A multi-time national team member and transfer from Iona University Wray had not raced early in the season due to injuries but has been training full bore for nearly a month and clearly is rounding into form.

Behind the lead pack, the Gryphons depth shone through, running what Coach Dave Scott-Thomas described as "the race of his life" fourth year athlete Cody Murray, placed seventh overall, only 19 seconds back of Wray. Behind Murray were Rob Koziarski in ninth place and rookie Alex Hinton in tenth place. Overall the Gryphons had an incredible seven athletes in the top ten and were without the services of team captain Kyle Boorsma, who sat out the race and last year's OUA Rookie Of The Year Rob Jackson, who was forced to withdraw due to illness.

Not to be outdone the Gryphon women also put on an impressive display. Like the men a lead pack quickly formed, this time consisting of two Gryphons (Lindsay Carson, Genevieve Lalonde) and last year's CIS Rookie of The Year Tamara Jewett of Toronto. Just past halfway Carson pulled away from the leader group and would go on to the win in 17 minutes and 19 seconds, behind Carson, Lalonde would pull away from Jewett to give the Gryphons a 1-2 finish. Jewett would be caught just before the line by McMaster's Jessica Pearo, who were quickly followed in by Guelph's third and fourth runner Rachel Cliff and Courtney Laurie, who finished fifth and sixth respectively. Laura McIvor was right behind Laurie finishing eight a mere 8 seconds back and was quickly followed by the Gryphon pack of Lindsay Furtado, Jess Vanhie and Karoline Hoy who placed 11th, 12th and 13th, giving the Gryphons an amazing eight athletes in the top 13. Incredibly, the Gryphons fifth score was ahead of the CIS number two ranked McMaster Marauders second runner.

The Gryphons will next be in action in two weeks time at the OUA Championships which will be hosted by Brock University in St. Catharines. With the team only able to race seven athletes, Head Coach Dave Scott-Thomas will have his hands full as he tries to determine what Gryphons to put on the line.

Full Results at GoGaelsGo.com.

Chris Moulton
University of Guelph
Track and Field

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