PREVIEW 2012 CIS cross-country championships: Gryphons look to celebrate at 50th anniversary event

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OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Guelph Gryphons will lookto resume their domination on Saturday when CIS celebrates 50 yearsof cross-country running in London, Ont.

Western University hosts the 2012 CIS championships at theThames Valley Golf Course. 125 athletes from 25 schools are set tocompete in the women’s five-kilometre race at noon, while 129runners from 24 institutions are scheduled to take the start of the10-kilometre men’s event at 1 p.m.

Saturday will mark the 50th anniversary of the first CISmen’s race. In 1963 in Guelph, Ont., Canadian Olympian BruceKidd, then competing for the University of Toronto, claimed theinaugural individual gold medal, while McMaster captured the firstteam banner.

Female runners would have to wait until 1980 to make their CISdebut, also in Guelph.
Bob Vigars knows a thing or two about CIS cross country. A memberof the 2012 organizing committee, Vigars is in his 45th season ashead coach of Western’s men’s team and has been at thehelm of the women’s program for 40 years. He has guided theMustangs to 11 national team titles over the years.

“We’re recognizing the very first CIS champions thisweekend, the McMaster team from 1963,” Vigars said. “Wehave the stats of that team from back then. They’d still beone of the top four or five teams in the country.”

One program the 1963 McMaster squad might have problems keepingup with these days is the Guelph Gryphons.

To say that Guelph has dominated CIS cross country in recentyears would be a major understatement. The Gryphons have capturedthe last seven national titles in women’s competition andhave won six consecutive men’s championships, both recordstreaks. Their male runners have also claimed individual gold atthe last four CIS meets, including Andrew Dixon’s triumph ayear ago, while on the women’s side, Geneviève Lalondemade it a clean sweep for Guelph in 2011.

The Gryphons are overwhelming favourites to take the team titlesonce again on Saturday. In individual competition, Guelph swept themen’s podium at the OUA championships two weeks ago, withNixon taking bronze behind teammates Ross Proudfoot (gold) and YvesSikubwabo (silver), and placed four runners in the top five in thewomen’s race, including a gold-medal performance fromLalonde.

“I’m confident in our team. We are extremely fit andsharp and are peaking at exactly the right time. Last night was ourfinal hard session and both teams looked brilliant,” Guelphhead coach Dave Scott Thomas said earlier this week.“We’ve got a history of nailing our peak and both teamsare stronger than last year, with full intentions of extending ourCIS title winning streaks. These are tough, talented athletes insuperb shape and we’re ready to fly.”

In the other CIS conferences, St. Francis Xavier swept the 2012AUS team banners, while the McGill women and Laval men repeated asRSEQ champions.

Individually, UNB’s Frida Aspnaes and StFX’s ConnorMcGuire claimed AUS gold, while McGill’s Jessica Porfilio andLaval’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot prevailed in Quebec.

“I am extremely proud of both the men’s andwomen’s teams,” said StFX head coach Bernie Chisholm.“The women dug deep and turned out an outstanding performancefor the championship win, and our men’s team ran a tremendousrace, running in a pack and staying strong through to thefinish.”

“Seven of the top nine finishers, the team and individualtitles, it would have been hard to ask for much more. We’reimproving with each competition and hopefully we can keep it up atthe national championships,” Laval coach Félix-AntoineLapointe said of his men’s squad. “Our women’steam is very young, we have a lot of first and second-year runners.But like our men, they’re getting better with every race, soI think we can hope for a top-10 finish in London.”

There are no cross country championships in Canada West. Resultsat the CIS meet determine the conference’s individual andteam champions. A year ago, the Victoria Vikes finished second inthe CIS women’s standings and third on the men’sside.

CISCROSS-COUNTRY TEAM CHAMPIONS

Women

2011 Guelph (at Laval)
2010 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2009 Guelph (at Queen’s)
2008 Guelph (at Laval)
2007 Guelph (at Victoria)
2006 Guelph (at Laval)
2005 Guelph (at Dalhousie)
2004 Dalhousie (at Guelph)
2003 Calgary (at Moncton)
2002 Toronto (at Western)
2001 Victoria (at Sherbrooke)
2000 Victoria (at Toronto)
1999 Victoria (at RMC / Queen’s)
1998 Victoria (at Waterloo)
1997 Guelph (at Western)
1996 Waterloo (at McGill)
1995 Windsor (at Western)
1994 Victoria (at Western)
1993 Calgary (at Dalhousie)
1992 Calgary (at McGill)
1991 Toronto (at Victoria)
1990 Western (at Ottawa)
1989 Western (at UBC)
1988 Western (at Laval)
1987 Victoria (at Victoria)
1986 Victoria (at Western)
1985 Victoria (at Sherbrooke)
1984 Western (at Guelph)
1983 Western (at Laurentian)
1982 Western (at Laurentian)
1981 Western (at Lethbridge)
1980 Victoria (at Guelph)

Men

2011 Guelph (at Laval)
2010 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2009 Guelph (at Queen’s)
2008 Guelph (at Laval)
2007 Guelph (at Victoria)
2006 Guelph (at Laval)
2005 Windsor (at Dalhousie)
2004 Windsor (at Guelph)
2003 Windsor (at Moncton)
2002 Guelph (at Western)
2001 Guelph (at Sherbrooke)
2000 Guelph (at Toronto)
1999 Guelph (at RMC / Queen’s)
1998 Windsor (at Waterloo)
1997 Victoria (at Western)
1996 Victoria (at McGill)
1995 Victoria (at Western)
1994 Victoria (at Western)
1993 UBC (at Dalhousie)
1992 Sherbrooke (at McGill)
1991 Toronto (at Victoria)
1990 Ottawa (at Ottawa)
1989 Manitoba (at UBC)
1988 Manitoba (at Laval)
1987 Ottawa (at Victoria)
1986 Ottawa (at Western)
1985 Western (at Sherbrooke)
1984 Queen’s (at Guelph)
1983 Queen’s (at Laurentian)
1982 Toronto (at Laurentian)
1981 Queen’s (at Lethbridge)
1980 Alberta (at Guelph)
1979 Queen’s (at Toronto)
1978 Toronto (at Toronto)
1977 Toronto (at Queen’s)
1976 Western (at Guelph)
1975 Toronto (at Victoria)
1974 Toronto (at Guelph)
1973 OUAA All-Stars (at RMC / Queen’s)
1972 OUAA All-Stars (at RMC)
1971 Western (at UNB)
1970 Western (at UBC)
1969 Guelph (at MacDonald)
1968 Saskatchewan (at Dalhousie)
1967 Toronto (at Guelph)
1966 Toronto (at Guelph)
1965 Toronto (at Guelph)
1964 Manitoba (at Guelph)
1963 McMaster (at Guelph)

CISCROSS-COUNTRY INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS

Women

2011 Geneviève Lalonde, Guelph
2010 Jessica Pearo, McMaster
2009 Megan Brown, Toronto
2008 Megan Brown, Toronto
2007 Lindsay Carson, Guelph
2006 Megan Brown, Toronto
2005 Beth Wightman, Toronto
2004 Kristina Rody, Guelph
2003 Beth Wightman, Queen’s
2002 Sarah Dillabaugh, Ottawa
2001 Beth Wightman, Queen’s
2000 Debbie Buhlers, Waterloo
1999 Teresa Duck, Western
1998 Nathalie Côté, Ottawa
1997 Nathalie Côté, Ottawa
1996 Nathalie Côté, Ottawa
1995 Missy McCleary, Windsor
1994 Linda Thyer, McGill
1993 Lisa Harvey, Calgary
1992 Lisa Harvey, Calgary
1991 Anna Gunasekera, Victoria
1990 Anna Gunasekera, Victoria
1989 Lucy Smith, Dalhousie
1988 Lucy Smith, Dalhousie
1987 Brenda Shackleton, Victoria
1986 Brenda Shackleton, Victoria
1985 Brenda Shackleton, Victoria
1984 Jill Purola, Western
1983 Sylvia Ruegger, Guelph
1982 Nancy Rooks, York
1981 Anne-Marie Malone, Queen’s
1980 Sylvia Ruegger, Guelph

Men

2011 Andrew Nixon, Guelph
2010 Kyle Boorsma, Guelph
2009 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2008 Matt Brunsting, Guelph
2007 Alex Genest, Sherbrooke
2006 Geoffrey Kerr, Calgary
2005 Cristiano Mauricio, Windsor
2004 Cristiano Mauricio, Windsor
2003 Eric Gillis, StFX
2002 Jamie Epp, Saskatchewan
2001 Jerry Ziak, Victoria
2000 Jamie Epp, Saskatchewan
1999 Graham Cocksedge, Victoria
1998 Jeremy Deere, Calgary
1997 Guy Schultz, Western
1996 Éric Jobin, Sherbrooke
1995 Jeff Schiebler, UBC
1994 Joël Bourgeois, Moncton
1993 Brendan Matthias, Toronto
1992 Graeme Fell, UBC
1991 Brendan Matthias, Toronto
1990 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1989 Richard Charrette, Ottawa
1988 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1987 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1986 John Halvorsen, Ottawa
1985 Bob Rice, Ottawa
1984 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1983 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1982 Brian Rhodes, Alberta
1981 Paul McCloy, Memorial
1980 Paul Williams, Toronto
1979 Peter Butler, Calgary
1978 Paul Williams, Toronto
1977 Paul Williams, Guelph
1976 Brian Stride, Brock
1975 Joe Sax, Western
1974 John Sharp, Toronto
1973 John Sharp, Toronto
1972 Rick Munro, Dalhousie
1971 Grant McLaren, Western
1970 Dave Smith, York
1969 Grant McLaren, Guelph
1968 Dave Smith, York
1967 David Bailey, Toronto
1966 David Bailey, Toronto
1965 Jerome Drayton, Toronto
1964 Chris Williamson, UNB
1963 Bruce Kidd, Toronto

-CIS-

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