ALRIGHT, we’re back after a wild weekend of running to give you a super important UPDATE on the U SPORTS scene. Read along with us as we go 10m platform mode and take a deep dive through the past weekend’s conference results. We would have done this sooner, but after a long night of OUA prep followed by splitting a 3:38 k while videoing the women’s race, we decided to get into one… and that “one” was an 8 pack of pizza pops whose box we proceeded to burn in a fire. Look, I even managed to save some of it for a picture.
Haha. Cool. Anyway after that was over it was nap time and I woke up in another dimension, an experience that took days to recover from. So here we are. We used a graphic with everything bagels this time to build off of cinnamon raisin from the update where we announced that we were back. I don’t think that’s literally everything you could put on a bagel, so misleading name, but we have a bit of (sort of) everything in this recap. So read on OR DON’T.
We’re going east to west like the sun. So what happened in the Merry Maritimes? Well, Allie Sandluck took it to the field at the Fox Meadows Golf Course in Stratford PEI and the St. FX X-Women went asteroid mode by turning the course into the moon and putting an absolute crater in it. An injured Ivy (I^2) Bialowas was (was^2) on the sidelines for UNB, and that could have cost them the silver, but Dalhousie was able to hang on to that after being led by Lauren Lowther. This conference is young, and we are seeing some big improvements from a lot of the athletes like Sandluck, Mairin Canning, and Eileen Benoit. It will be interesting to see how they stack up at U SPORTS, but I want to dedicate a couple sentences to talk about how much I despise this St. FX school nickname. X-men/women??? That’s it? So, like… the Xavier men/women??? I would rather be named after the letter X than some rando Catholic missionary from the 1500s (yeah I looked it up). We all know how well those missions went in that time eh? Usually pretty poorly for Indigenous populations. But let’s say we give the guy the benefit of the doubt –I’m a generous dude –that nickname is still boring as heck. How about the St. FX X Gon’ Give It To Ya (what)? Now we’re talking. X wins it. They win it by more if they change their name.
On the men’s side, we were a bit worried here in the studios after seeing the result. An uncharacteristic 3 runners separating Danny Rosen from a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back finish.
I suppose a quad back-to-backer is fine. Dal wins it easily (go Tigahs, per sources), but Andy Pevs is continuing his late-year muck tour which included the 5k win at the Canada Summer Games, and at that one he beat Mitch Ubene, Matty Beaudet, and Philippe Morneau-Cartier (he needed more car that day). Now those guys were coming off pretty long track seasons, but it’s still some impressive sacks to add to a resumé. I should note that we are replacing the term “scalps” with “sacks.” Not because we are trying to be politically correct (although sometimes it’s good to be), I just think it’s sillier. Probably won’t catch on but it’s also fitting because the Pevdawg lives in lower Sackville and I mean how can you read that and not laugh? Will he contend up front at U SPORTS? He might be a few seconds from the top pack, but all-Canadian status is within reach. X-men placed third at this one behind UNB in a reversal of last year. That could turn into a cool rivalry. Also, REDS? You’re named after a colour that like 8 percent of people can’t even see? Holy this conference needs work on the nicknames. Moving on…
This conference rises to the top of the cool rankings for having a whole bunch of university athletes and coaches wear green circles (cercles verts) on their singlets to show support for climate justice. About 120 people wore them! Check out some of the photos. We love the effort. Be an elite guitar and stay tuned for how we might carry this momentum into U SPORTS.
Pour la course féminin, il y avait Laval, Laval, and plus Laval. Et puis une Laval plus. Et puis deux Montréals, et puis Laval encore… yeah, you get the picture –vous comprenez l’image. I also need to spend more time on duolingo because odds are that is not how a French person would say that stuff. ANYWAY, I would probably have to look back pretty far to find the last time Laval actually lost RSEQ, but I don’t have time for that right now. I’m going to guess around the year 1500, right when St. FX was in the process of getting a bad nickname. Lacourse is looking pretty nasty as per usual. She is the defending champion after all. Catherine Beauchemin is going off aussi. Newcomer Florence Caron looks engaged airbag type solid, as in she’s protecting the gold medal contention possibility and packs a punch. Sara-Pier Paquet is running better than last year and last year she was still top 20 U SPORTS material. Bérubé was running well early but sat out RSEQ, likely as a precaution after a bout of COVID and we are sending well wishes for a full recovery. It’s not a sickness to take lightly folks, so respect for being careful with it. I’ve seen a decent number of athletes getting sick or reinfected, which can put some people out long-term, and because of a defunded healthcare system we don’t even have the capacity to handle other illnesses or health issues in a timely manner right now. Heck, we don’t even have enough ambulances sometimes. You can read more about how we can work together to keep doing sports without putting everyone at risk of long-term health effects here. If anyone needs a good quality n95 mask, especially for those taking long flights that are very high risk now that the federal Liberal government ended mask mandates on airplanes, send me a message and I will etransfer you or help you find some. It’s pretty easy to pool your money together as a team and find a 20-pack for about $40.
For the men, so much car. Beaucoup de zoom. He took down Beauty Beaudet who blamed the course for tripping him up. He will try to stay on his feet for U SPORTS. Jonny Tedeschi came in a bit after them, but JSD was too busy in the lave-auto to race this one. He had a long track season and the guy is in his 5th year of medical school, which is not easy, so the DNS seems reasonable. We should see him back for U SPORTS which will make things interesting; BUT, Laval is going to have to go wax clinic mode and shore up their back end if they want to contend for a medal. That’s right, they need to wax their derrières. Girardin, Saal, Minfray, Gigeure… Can they do it? If they keep making memes like this they might.
Always potential for surprise here, and there were some, but not until after the Guelph women unloaded the boom for a second straight year. Also for a second straight year though, a McMaster athlete broke up their podium sweep. Respect Rosalyn Barrett for a huge run. Annika Ariano debuted at 8k and came fourth which is pretty good I guess and counts as a surprise. Hickson is on one right now but if a team mentions almond milk at U SPORTS it might throw her off. Whitford and Roussel are in good form too. Woodhouse is their fifth? Even without Ormond this team is going to be difficult to beat. The biggest surprise came with the Marauders taking down Western for the silver after getting dummied by the exact same team 2 weeks earlier at the Bayfront Open. Is Western out of gas or are they playing an even larger sandbag card this year? Is McMaster nasty or did they peak 2 weeks too early? We’ll find out in a week and a half. Respect to Claudia Heeney for breaking up a Guelph-McMaster-Western top 10.
For the dudes, DDT might be banned but nobody was able to break up the McMaster sweep of the podium, as DDT (Davies, Drover, Turek) were able to 3-man flying V themselves into the medals. Not too far behind them was Dylan Alick (6th), and Sam Nusselder (8th). Turek could have NOT ran and this team would have tied for first (yeah okay Mr. Technical, they would have lost on the tiebreaker, whatever). They’re going to need their top five racing to win U SPORTS and finally break through for gold, but if they get to the line healthy I don’t think they’re going to lose. A quick dip in the Thames after the race should help with recovery. In second, the Queens of the Stone Age (update to the “Queeners” nickname I gave them in the Bayfront video) roared to the present behind big runs from the Kirbs, the Mirs, the Wheels, and the Bracks. If their fifth guy can be clutch in Halifax this could be a big U SPORTS for the guys in yellow. Guelph with a tough run to take the bronze. Good run by Christian Dwayne the Rachner Johnson. We’ll see if they can rebound for U SPORTS. Weirder things have happened –teams who have finished fourth at OUA have finished fourth at U SPORTS –and we will see if the Western guys can produce any of that kind of magic. Big run for Lakehead to finish 5th with guys named Jett and Leif on their team. Best group since the Kevin Tree days. Lancers had some big runs from Jonny Rioux and Toronto traitor Cam Cira but couldn’t quite crack the top 5.
For the OUA Race video, click here (will be up tonight).
The wild west was kinda wild folks, and that’s partially because friend of the show Nick Colyn decided to go off-script and read some of the Thanksgiving Bash predictions while officially announcing the race live. That’s hilarious. Legend. In the women’s race, UBC might have taken both dubs, but I can’t say I expected UBCO to take down the Huskies. The addition of former DINO Emily Simpson to The Heat helps, and Eliyah Brawdy has improved a lot. They had six runners in before Saskatchewan’s 4th and this is looking like a top 10 U SPORTS finish for UBCO. Saskatchewan better start learning how to take 5 minute penalties because they are going to need MAJOR runs from McFadyen, Harrison, and Gracjzyk-Jelinski in Halifax. Harrison was 5th last year. Is she a peak wizard? Let’s talk about the Golden Bears for a second. We had them 10th in the early rankings but it was a rough go here. Looks like they are sending the squad to U SPORTS though so I’m hoping for a turnaround. The Victoria Vikings did pretty well in the men’s and women’s races after asking every single person on their team what weekend it was, so I guess they were ready. But yeah, UBC women dominated this one folks. 1-3-7-8-13-(15)-(16). Gibson is ripping (8th at U SPORTS last year) and so is MacGillivray who was injured last year when this team finished fourth but has quietly put up some pretty nasty results over the past year. Gold medal threat I think.
For the men’s race, Mr. Dozzi decided to forgo his midterms to generate a whole bunch of memes like a lottery machine popping out balls. It’s a strategy that seems to work well for the boys out west: they used it to perfection last year at ACXC to bamboozle the bandits, and Dozzi took the dub here as well after pool running in hoodies for the past month. As Kendrick Lamar would say, DAMN. Ron MacLean was out for BLOOD in this one as he placed second after being behind the other Berta Boys most of the year. Idk if he just ate the most airport floor food this time or if XC is actually in this mid-d specialist’s DNA. “YAH,” said John Perrier as he crossed the line in third ahead of Daniel Damien in what was a crazy finish video that I watched in 180p on instagram. We shouldn’t forget that XC is JP’s real ELEMENT. Bill Makawe was right behind them in 5th and then finally we get to the result that basically encapsulates the running character of Trevor Hofbauer. Not many people would FEEL like trying the Toronto Waterfront Marathon-U SPORTS XC double, but in addition to that I guess the Hof figured he needed to give the guys a bit of a handicap to make up for a bit of an age difference. Good guy. He then decided just minutes before the race that even a marathon in the legs was not good enough, so untied his shoes which came off 1 km into the race. We definitely saw video evidence that they were off 2 km in. Good thing the dude wore socks. Finishing 17 seconds behind the leader in 6-7 km of socks is pretty nuts lol. Guy really prepped the peppers for this one. Many would have just DNF’ed. The LOYALTY to running is real. But yeah, main takeaway from CanWest is the UBC guys could be good as long as Dozzi didn’t sandbag too early, and the Golden Bears scored 69 to edge out UVic. Nice.
And that’s the recap. We will see you next week for the official U SPORTS predictions and the all-important prediction contest!