Oct. 30, 2010 Cross Country
LAVAL, Que.- Sarah McCuaig of Waterloo, Ont., led wire-to-wire as the McGill Martlets captured the Quebec university running championship at the Parc Centre de Nature, Saturday.
It marked the team's first conference title in three years after winning it for 20 consecutive seasons from 1988 to 2007.
McCuaig, a 20-year-old physiology sophomore, was named athlete of the meet and also athlete of the year. The 5-foot-10 distance runner finished first in a field of 57, completing the five-kilometre course in 18 minutes, 12 seconds, to win the race by 14 seconds ahead of Laval'sJoanie Roy, who captured silver and was named as the conference rookie of the year. The final podium spot went to Sherbrooke's Melanie Hughes in 18:31.
"McCuaig ran a great race," said McGill head coach Dennis Barrett, who earned conference coach of the year honours on the women's side. "She went out and took control right from the start, running hard and well. Her performance today was the result of hard work. She had a good summer of training and won some early races this fall which built her confidence and she has become a good leader on the team."
McGill ended up with 31 points, based upon their top five runners who finished first, fifth (Charlene Puel, 18:48), sixth (Madeleine Cummings, 19:13), eighth (Catherine Drouin-Audet, 19:28) and 11th (Aimee Castro; 19:45).
Laval was a distant second with 46 points, followed by Sherbrooke (62, Concordia (102) and UQAC (146).
"It is very gratifying to get back the championship banner," added Barrett. "It was a big shock to us when we lost it two years ago after 20 consecutive titles. Last year's loss was not as much of a surprise.
On the men's side, Sherbrooke's Olivier Lavoie led the Vert & Or to the league championship and was named athlete of the year. He completed the 10k run in 31:58, beating out Concordia'sStephane Colle (32:09) and McGill newcomer Jay Boychuk of Pickering, Ont., who was clocked in 32:21, one second ahead of Concordia's Ryan Noel-Hodge.
"Boychuk's performance was very impressive," said Barrett. "He's only 17 and came from behind to pass the Concordia runner at the finish line. He joined us part-way through the season after trying out with the lacrosse team and is very focused and determined. He just nailed it today."
Boychuk, a science freshman was named as the league's rookie of the year, while Sherbrooke'sVincent Paquet earned men's coach-of-the-year honours.
Also scoring for the Redmen was Oliver Foster (10th, 33:46), Daniel Kramer (11th, 33:52),Graydon Snider (13th, 33:53) and Ian Forbes (24th, 35:05).
Sherbrooke led the men's division with 43 points, followed by Laval (53), Concordia (57), McGill (60), UQTR (159) and UQAC (173).