Sports
Over 250 runners will compete in Quebec for the rights to be crowned best in the country.
courtesy Canadian University Press

The running of the bulls

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The Universite de Laval will welcome Canada's best 250-or-so university male and female runners to the historic Plains of Abraham Sat., Nov. 11.

The first five finishers from each school have their placings added together to determine team scores, with the lowest total winning.

From the desks of student newspapers across the country, here's a look at what to expect from some of the top teams and individuals, organized by conference:

CANADA WEST

Calgary Dinos

2005 CIS men's team placing: 12th

2005 CIS women's team placing: fourth

Lifetime men's medals: none

Lifetime women's medals: four

Top male: Geoff Kerr

Top female: Heather Sim

The Dinos women's team brought home gold from all three of its meets this year before nationals, winning in Saskatoon, Eastern Washington and Calgary. Lindsay Winter and Heather Sim have been neck-and-neck all year to lead the way for Calgary.

The men's team has also been impressive, with a victory and two bronzes from the same meets. Geoff Kerr has been on fire all year, taking the individual gold at all three events. His 32:03 10 km time in Calgary was a full minute faster than the next varsity finisher.

- Jon Roe, the Gauntlet

Victoria Vikes

2005 CIS men's team placing: third

2005 CIS women's team placing: third

Lifetime men's medals: eight

Lifetime women's medals: 17

Top male: Geoff Martinson

Top female: Kate Sloan

It's been a mediocre season for UVic's cross-country teams. The highlight was a win for the women's team at the Arizona State Invitational, but Canada's second-ranked men's team and fifth-ranked women's squad have had mixed results the rest of the year.

Kate Sloan, who played National Collegiate Athletic Association div. 1 soccer before running into concussion trouble, has had a surprising impact in her rookie season. On the men's side, Geoff Martinson, Daniel Mallie and Logan Burke have had consistent performances throughout the season.

- David Karp, the Martlet

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Windsor Lancers

2005 CIS men's team placing: first

2005 CIS women's team placing: seventh

Lifetime men's medals: eight

Lifetime women's medals: one

Top male: Dave Weston

Top female: Jackie Malette

In what is always the country's strongest cross-country conference, the Windsor Lancers still managed to develop a dynasty over the last three years with their men's national titles. However, many members of those championship teams have graduated. It's unlikely the Lancers will be able to repeat last year's success, but the team is expected to do well overall.

- Julie Sobowale, the Lance

Toronto Varsity Blues

2005 CIS men's team placing: ninth

2005 CIS women's team placing: second

Lifetime men's medals: 16

Lifetime women's medals: 12

Top male: Joe Campanelli

Top female: Megan Brown

If it weren't for the Guelph Gryphons, all the talk might be about the Varsity Blues at this year's CIS championships. Ranked third on the men's and women's sides, a national silver medal is still a very realistic possibility for the double OUA runners-up.

- Dan Plouffe, Canadian University Press sports bureau chief

Guelph Gryphons

2005 CIS men's team placing: second

2005 CIS women's team placing: first

Lifetime men's medals: nine

Lifetime women's medals: seven

Top male: Steve Koziarski

Top female: Laura Moulton

The Gryphons men and women's team are ranked first in the country for a reason. Guelph distanced itself from its nearest competitors at the OUA championships by an unheard of 46 points on the men's side and 55 on the women's. The men placed all five scorers in the top-seven.

- Matt Katzsch, the Ontarion

Western Mustangs

2005 CIS women's team placing: sixth

Lifetime women's medals: 16

Top female: Lynn Mockler

The OUA bronze-medalist Western Mustangs are rebuilding themselves into one of the country's best as Ashley Korman is guiding the women's team as the only runner with more than two years experience.

- Dan Plouffe

Queen's Golden Gaels

2005 CIS men's team placing: sixth

Lifetime men's medals: seven

Top male: Braden Novakowski

The OUA men's bronze medalists just don't quite have enough elite runners to place well as a team. But Braden Novakowski, a former Pan-Am juniors 1,500 m silver-medalist, has developed into the province's best runner in his third year and will certainly challenge for the national title.

- Dan Plouffe

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT

St. Francis-Xavier X-Men/X-Women

2005 CIS men's team placing: tenth

2005 CIS women's team placing: ninth

Lifetime men's medals: none

Lifetime women's medals: none

Top male: John Tramble

Top female: Erin MacLean

Dalhousie Tigers

2005 CIS men's team placing: fifth

2005 CIS women's team placing: tenth

Lifetime men's medals: one

Lifetime women's medals: three

Top male: Russell Christie

Top female: Janice Ashworth

The AUS women's team championship was decided by a single point as the St. FX X-Women edged their conference rivals, the Dalhousie Tigers. St. FX drew massive support from their hometown on their own course, as Erin MacLean, Gina Stewart and AUS rookie-of-the-year Heather Mosher led the X-Women to victory.

- Jarett Burke, Xaverian Weekly

QUEBEC STUDENT SPORTS FEDERATION

McGill Martlets

2005 CIS women's team placing: fifth

Lifetime women's medals: two

Top female: Lauren Whyte

Just like in the famous battle hundreds of years earlier between Montcalm and Wolfe, expect the French to get killed by the English on the Plains of Abraham. The French schools in the Quebec conference, Sherbrooke and host Laval, have good teams on the men's and women's sides, but simply aren't talented enough to be contenders at the national level.

Quebec's only legitimate team podium threat comes from the McGill women, who phenomenonally outclassed their conference competitors this year, placing six runners in the top-seven at the provincial finals.

- Dan Plouffe

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