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Posted: November 15, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Gryphons Sweep CIS Cross Country Titles For Fourth Consecutive Year

Forty years after winning their first CIS Cross Country Championship the University of Guelph captured their fourteenth and fifteenth titles becoming the winningest program in CIS history, Saturday afternoon at Fort Henry in Kingston, Ontario.

The Gryphon women set a record of their own as they captured their fifth consecutive title. Returning from injury, Gryphon star Lindsay Carson led the way capturing the individual silver medal behind Toronto's Megan Brown. Carson and Gryphon teammates Rachel Cliff and Genevieve Lalonde quickly established them at the front of a chase pack pursuing Brown who led wire to wire. Gradually Carson broke away as the pack split in half. Cliff and Lalonde fell back to eleventh and twelfth but both had strong finishes and gained several spots in the last stretch, to finish eighth and ninth respectively and garner second team All-Canadian selections. For Cliff it was her fourth selection of her career while it was the first for Lalonde, who was also awarded Rookie of The Year. Despite the strong runs up front, the Gryphons were trailing a very strong University of Toronto team by nine points through three runners. But the strength of this Gryphon team was their depth and that was on full display Saturday. Fourth year runner Courtney Laurie, who along with Cliff joined the exclusive club of four time Team Champions, finished 18th, with Lindsay Furtado right behind her in 21st. Incredibly, their performances turned the nine point Toronto lead into an 87 point Gryphon victory. The spread was the largest in CIS history adding another record to the Gryphons' impressive list.

With one title in hand, the Gryphon men set out to complete the sweep for the fourth consecutive year. Unlike the women's race the victor of the men's race was in doubt for much of the race. From the gun the race set off at breakneck pace, a lead pack of ten quickly formed as they went through the first three kilometres on 30 minute pace. The pace slowed slightly on the second lap as the lead pack whittled down to six including Guelph Killer Bs, defending champion Matt Brunsting, last year's runner up Kyle Boorsma and OUA MVP Allan Brett. The pack stayed together until seven kilometres with Regina's Kelly Wiebe and Windsor's Dave Weston doing much of leading. At seven kilometres, Brunsting made his bid for the win and the pack dissolved. Only Boorsma was able to even maintain any form of contact with Brunsting. Brunsting would go onto defend his title in a course record time of 30:34, Boorsma would finish runner-up again also finishing under the old course record. Behind them, Brett had fallen back to fifth but was making a charge in the last kilometre to try to complete the podium sweep. Unfortunately for the Gryphons, Wiebe proved to strong as he captured the bronze, Weston also passed Brett in the last four hundred metres as Brett would finish fifth. Behind the Gryphons' lead three, teammates Nigel Wray and John Parrott were battling it out for top ten spots, with Wray finishing eleventh and Parrott twelfth. Giving the Gryphons an incredible five All-Canadians. With a score of 30 points the Gryphons easily won the team title over the University of Windsor. With their fourth CIS team titles Kyle Boorsma and Matt Brunsting, joined fellow Gryphons Reid Coolsaet and Taylor Murphy in the rare club. Boorsma along with Cliff and Laurie will be able to become the first ever athletes to be part of five team titles next fall in Sherbrooke.

The races also served as a selection race for the World University Cross Country Championships, Carson, Brunsting, Boorsma and Brett were all selected to the team which will race in Kingston in April.

Women
Team standings
1. Guelph, 57 points
2. Toronto, 144
3. McMaster, 147

1. 16:55.9 Megan Brown, Toronto
2. 17:14.3 Lindsay Carson, Guelph
3. 17.23.1 Valerie Belanger, Sherbrooke
4. 17:23.9 Erin McClure, Toronto
5. 17:24.2 Jessica Pearo, McMaster
6. 17:30.0 Tamara Jewett, Toronto
7. 17:30.3 Jodi Souter, Sasketchwan
8. 17:32.3 Rachel Cliff, Guelph
9. 17:33.7 Genevieve Lalonde, Guelph
10.17:34.3 Ashley Ryer, Saint Marys
11.17:34.4 Catherine Cormier, Laval
12.17:37.9 Caroline Schlosser, Dalhousie
13. 17:40.9 Lynn Mockler, Western
14. 17:41.0 Dayna Pidhoresky, Windsor

Men
Team standings
1. Guelph, 31 points
2. Windsor, 92
3. St.Francis Xavier, 170

1. 30:34.3 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2. 30:44.8 Kyle Boorsma, Guelph
3. 30:49.8 Kelly Wiebbe, Regina
4. 30:54.3 Dave Weston, Windsor
5. 30:57.9 Allan Brett, Guelph
6. 31:01.8 Matt Pieterson, Victoria
7. 31:32.1 Russell Christie, Dalhousie
8. 31:34.0 Adam Kellar, Windsor
9. 31:37.9 Johannes Mallie, Victoria
10. 31:42.0 Kyle ONeill, Western
11. 31:43.9 Nigel Wray, Guelph
12. 31:49.2 John Parrott, Guelph
13. 31:59.9 Wyatt Baiton, Regina
14. 32:13.0 Bagdad Rachem, Sherbrooke

Full Results:
Women : SportStats.ca.

Women Team: SportStats.ca.

Men:SportStats.ca.

Men Team: SportStats.ca.

Chris Moulton
University of Guelph 
Track and Field

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