One-two punch at OUAs

Men’s and women’s cross-country finish fourth overall at provincial championships

Despite standout performances from top runners, neither cross-country team found the podium at the OUA championships this weekend.

With rain pouring down, both Queen’s teams finished in fourth place and within five points of third.

Victoria Coates and Julie-Anne Staehli continued their incredible seasons, taking the top two spots in the women’s race. Coates won with a time of 21:50.2, with Staehli finishing 11 seconds behind.

Head coach Steve Boyd said Coates’ ability to run in less than pristine weather conditions helped her to the gold medal.

“[Victoria] does well in difficult conditions – she has her entire career,” Boyd said. “She managed to run up a three- or four-second lead on Julie-Anne that [she] couldn’t recover.”

While those two runners secured individual podium finishes, the team as a whole couldn’t grab a spot in the top three.

The Guelph Gryphons claimed the women’s title with 25 points, with all five of their scorers finishing in the top seven.

For the Gaels, this meant the biggest competition for a podium spot was the Western Mustangs and the Toronto Varsity Blues.

Queen’s three other scorers finished in 20th, 33rd and 36th place, giving them 92 points, 10 behind Western and three back of Toronto.

Boyd said the weather played a role in the team’s overall performance.

“It was a little below what we thought, but really adverse conditions tend to offer unpredictable results,” Boyd said. “Average conditions tend to produce predictable results and we were on the wrong side of that.”

On the men’s side, the Gaels were led by fourth-year Jeff Archer, who finished in fifth place, and David Cashin, who finished in 11th, while Tyson Loney finished just outside an OUA All-Star spot in 15th place.

Once again, the Gryphons took the team title, taking the first four spots in the men’s race. Queen’s finished with 83 points, six points behind the third-place Windsor Lancers.

The 83 points was the lowest total for the men’s team in Boyd’s tenure as coach.

“You can’t call it a bad run, but it would have been nice to get by one more team and have the podium finish,” he said.

Even without a podium finish, the Gaels’ combined men’s and women’s point total was the second-best in the province, only trailing Guelph.

The Gaels will look to build on this weekend’s race at the CIS Championships on Nov. 9.

Boyd said he’s looking for a podium finish on the women’s side, with the team currently sitting second in the nation. For the men, he’s looking for the team to finish in the top five — the same result as last year.

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