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Monday, Dec. 17, 2018
Sharing cross-country accomplishments before parting ways
2018-11-12
by Randy Pascal

Both the Laurentian Voyageurs men's and women's cross country teams either met or exceeded their expectations, competing at the U Sports National Cross-Country Running Championships last Saturday in Kingston.

Heading into the 2019 campaign, that is where the similarities end.

Matching their highest school placement ever with a 10th place showing, a top five L.U. grouping that included Jenny Bottomley (23rd - 29:43), Megan Crocker (36th - 30:17), Nicole Rich (44th - 30:30), Breanne Steven (90th - 31:30) and Jessie Nusselder (113th - 32:06) are all set to call it a career come graduation time next spring.

The quintet closed out their post-secondary cross-country resume in style, placing third among OUA schools, with displacers Pascale Gendron (123rd - 32:35) and Sarah Thackery (142nd - 33:29) benefitting immensely from the experience.

"This is a veteran team and they showed it today with their composure under some difficult conditions," noted head coach Dick Moss. "The goal since the start of the season was to crack top four at the OUAs and top ten at nationals, and they did exactly that."

"On the negative side, our entire top five graduates this year and it will be really hard to say goodbye to them." Following is a breakdown of the top fifteen teams on the women's side:

1. Laval - 55 pts
2. Queen's - 62
3. Guelph - 108
4. UBC - 191
5. McGill - 195
6. Victoria - 206
7. Trinity Western - 224
8. Calgary - 227
9. Dalhousie - 277
10. Laurentian - 306
11. Montreal - 376
12. St. Francis Xavier - 381
13. Toronto - 386
14. Western - 389
15. McMaster - 402
* Laurentian was ranked 10th in the country entering nationals

Meanwhile, Laurentian men's coach Darren Jermyn is still a few years from parting ways with his current crop of talent. In fact, the entire squad that produced a program best (since reinstatement) 13th place finish, improving by three on their pre-event ranking, are all expected to be back in the fall.

That group will be led by the likes of Paul Sagriff (39th - 32:34) and Liam Passi (41st - 32:37), with Caleb Beland (94th - 33:45), Dylan McKevitt (100th - 34:02) and Eric Gareau (111th - 34:23) all looking to close the gap on the front-runners.

Displacers Alexandre Fishbein-Ouimette (132nd - 35:30) and Jarod Milford (153rd - 37:50) also competed at nationals. "This is a gritty, dedicated group of guys, and to improve from reinstatement to the national stage in only four years is exceptional," said coach Jermyn.

Following is a snapshot of the top men's teams in the country:

1. Calgary - 75
2. Guelph - 89
3. McMaster - 94
4. Laval - 131
5. Queen's - 149
6. Western - 173
7. UBC -235
8. Trinity Western - 242
9. Victoria - 243
10. Toronto - 279
11. Manitoba - 331
12. St. Francis Xavier - 334
13. Laurentian - 385
14. Alberta - 405
15. Sherbrooke - 427

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