By: Laura Sinclair
The McMaster cross country team finished strong with an impressive result from the CIS Cross Country Championships held in London, Ontario on Nov. 10. The women’s team finished 2nd overall, and the men’s team finished 6th overall to cap off the end of yet another successful season for the Marauders cross country team.
Both of the teams were coming into CIS with high expectations and goals, especially after the OUA Championships, where the women’s team finished 2nd, and the men’s team finished 4th. “We talked about not leaving CIS with a bad taste in our mouth,” said Head Coach Rory Sneyd. “We don’t have to say much to the athletes; they know that this is as big as it gets for Canadian university cross country and they were exceedingly motivated to do well.”
The Marauders women’s team was hoping to finish closer to the powerhouse CIS Champions the Guelph Gryphons, but there would be a serious extraneous factor that would work against the Marauders in the final race of the season.
“We hoped that Lindsay [Carson] would vie for a medal, but she was running with two broken ribs,” Rory Sneyd said.
This unfortunate news was confirmed hours after the race on Saturday, and was believed to be due to a bike mishap from a couple of weeks ago. Even with two broken ribs, Lindsay Carson, the 3000 m CIS Champion, still managed to pull off an individual top ten finish overall.
Coach Sneyd is pleased with the women’s team’s performance, and he gives credit to some of the top finishers on the team.
“Victoria Coates out-leaned the defending CIS cross country champion to take the bronze medal, Steph MacNeill ran her best race of the year, and the talented rookie Madeleine McDonald had another tremendous race.”
Leading the way for the women’s team was Victoria Coates in 3rd, Lindsay Carson in 7th, Madeleine McDonald in 13th, Steph MacNeill in 19th, Courtney Patterson in 25th and Chelsea Mackinnon in 40th.
On the men’s side, their biggest goal was to be the 3rd OUA team at the CIS cross country championships. The men’s team almost accomplished this; finishing 11 points behind Queens to be the fourth OUA team overall. Coach Sneyd is very optimistic about the men’s team in the years to come. “The guys came close, but we return our top six from this year and Jordan Bierema (out with a stress fracture) will help us a bunch,” commented Sneyd.
The coach was pleased with the men’s performance, and gave credit to some of the stand-out performers. “It was an incredible race for Lionel, he ran so tough; and Blair Morgan had a big break-through to be the fourth man, and narrowly miss Queen’s fourth man.”
Leading the way for the men was Lionel Sanders in 11th, Connor Darlington in 34th, Taylor Reid in 35th, Blair Morgan in 46th, Austen Forbes in 53rd, Taylor Forbes in 57th and Ryan Tice in 100th.
Next up for the Marauders cross country team is some down time before picking up the intensity again for the upcoming track season that gets underway in January.