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Posted: October 31, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Gryphons Have Record Setting Day At OUA Cross Country Championships

If the CIS Coaching Association was trying to send a message to the University of Guelph Men's Cross Country team, considered it received and the Gryphons had a message of their own to send back.

After having been the number one ranked team in the country the entire season the Gryphons were inexplicably dropped to second in the rankings this week behind the Windsor. With the motivation of this snub boosting the veteran team, the Gryphons put together the best team performance in OUA history winning the meet with a record setting score of 17 points.

After a cautious first two kilometres, a lead group of 14, including all 7 Gryphons, separated themselves from the pack. Gradually this group was whittled down to a pack of seven: five Gryphons and Windsor's Dave Weston and Western's Kyle O'Neill. Weston and Guelph's Allan Brett were doing much of the leading and eventually dropped O'Neil and Guelph's John Parrott and Nigel Wray, creating a lead pack of four and a chase pack of three. Brett continued to press as he pulled away from the leaders, Guelph's Matt Brunsting and Kyle Boorsma tried their best to cover the move, but we're unable to reel in Brett, who would go on to defend his OUA title. Boorsma would finish second with Brunsting third as Weston was relegated to fourth. Behind the lead pack Parrott and Wray had pulled away from O'Neil, with Parrott winding up fifth and Wray sixth. Guelph's Robert Koziarski would finish 10th, with Rob Jackson finishing 14th despite a fall with 500 metres to go. All seven Gryphons were OUA All-Stars. The team score of 17 points was one point lower than the previous record, which was set by the Windsor Lancer in 2004. The Gryphons defeated the Lancers by 46 points and won their fifth consecutive title.

Not to be outdone, the Gryphon women had a record setting afternoon of their own. The story of the race early was who wasn't running, with Guelph's Lindsay Carson and Toronto's Tamara Jewett both not on the start line due to injury. Early on, Erin McClure of Toronto quickly built up a 30 metre lead. Her teammate and defending champion, Megan Brown, joined her just past the one kilometre mark. Behind them a chase pack of five formed including Guelph's Genevieve Lalonde, Courtney Laurie and Rachel Cliff. The lead seven would remain largely unchanged throughout the race. Brown pulled away from McClure and go onto win in her final season, while McClure finished second also capping off her varsity career. Behind them, Rachel Cliff and Genevieve Lalonde pulled away from the pack, with Cliff pulling away for Lalonde to capture the bronze medal. All three medalists were former OUA Rookie of The Year's. With 300 to go, Laurie moved past Lalonde, as they finished fourth and fifth respectively. Behind the lead pack the group, which has become known as the Gryphon pack, was a little more spread out than previous races. Lindsay Furtado, running arguably the strongest race of her career, finished 8th overall, with teammate Jess Vanhie and Laura McIvor finishing 10th and 12th respectively, Karoline Hoy rounded out the Gryphon runners in 20th. The top six Gryphon athletes were all named OUA All-Stars. Between the two genders the Gryphons received an incredible 13 of the 28 OUA All-Star awards. The Gryphon women easily won the title with a score of 30 points ahead of McMaster's 67. The win was their sixth consecutive, setting an OUA record for most consecutive titles.

Results: Women   Men.

Chris Moulton
University of Guelph 
Track and Field

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