(PHOTO OF SARAH SOLNIT BY GARY RUSH)
OTTAWA -- McGill University has qualified nine women and five men for the 2012 CIS indoor track and field championships in Winnipeg this week.
The three-day national meet, hosted for the first time since 2005 by the University of Manitoba, kicks off Thursday at 11 a.m. Central with the season awards luncheon at Marshall McLuhan Hall on the campus of the U of M.
The first final of the championships, the women's weight throw, follows shortly after, at 2 p.m., at the Max Bell Field House. The meet concludes Saturday afternoon with the always exciting 4x400m relays.
There will be live results and webcasting of the event. Fans can either follow links from the CIS website at the page for the Championships or the Bison Sports website or link directly:
Web cast: www.cislive.tv
Leading the way for the Martlets are Sarah McCuaig of Waterloo and Charlène Puel, a native of Lyon, France. McCuaig will run the 1500m and the 4x800 relay, while Puel is entered in four events, including the 600m and 1000m, as well as the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
Other members on the 4x400 include Catherine Drouin-Audet of Repentigny and soccer star Alexandra Morin-Boucher, from St. Gabriel de Brandon, Que.
The remainder of the 4x800 is composed of freshman Evelyn Anderson of Calgary as well as sophomores Geneviève Blanchard of Sherbrooke, Que., and Aimee Castro of Hamilton, Ont.
Morin-Boucher and Blanchard have also qualified for the 4x200 relay along with Majenta Whyte Potter-Mal, a senior in medicine from LaSalle, Que., and freshman Kamila Rogic-McLean of New Westmnter, B.C.
Qualifiers on the men's side include pole vaulter Nicholas Busque, a freshman from Lititz, Penn., as well as the 4x200 relay. That quartet features junior Jordan Masys of Ottawa, sophomore Eric Ellemo of Hudson, Que., freshman Alexander Steinbrenner of Montreal and freshman Steven Murray of Burlington, Ont.
The University of Windsor Lancers hope to sweep the team banners for the second straight year. The Windsor women are looking for a fourth consecutive CIS title. After edging archrival Guelph by a single point back in 2009, they crushed the competition at the last two Nationals, winning by 41 points over Toronto in 2010 and by 55.5 over Guelph a year ago.
Two weeks ago, Windsor "three-peated" as OUA champion thanks to a 13-point lead over Western.
Interestingly enough, despite their status as reigning national and conference champs, the Lancer women head into the CIS meet ranked second behind the Guelph Gryphons, who settled for third place at the OUA championships. Western and Toronto are tied for third in the latest rankings published Tuesday, while Saskatchewan rounds out the top five.
On the men's side, the Lancers were even more dominant at last year's Nationals, finishing with a mind-boggling 84-point lead over Regina. With the triumph, Windsor avenged a heartbreaking one-point loss to Guelph in 2010.
The Lancers picked up where they left off this season as they claimed a 14th straight OUA men's title. They are 34.5-point favourites this week, with conference rivals Guelph, York, Ottawa and Western following in order in the rankings.
In the other conferences, the 2012 team banners went to Saskatchewan (women) and Calgary (men) in Canada West, Sherbrooke (women) and Laval (men) in the RSEQ, as well as Dalhousie with yet another sweep in the AUS.
Individually, Windsor's Nicole Sassine and Guelph's Tim Hendry were named the most valuable female and male performers at the OUA championships. Sassine captured four medals, including gold in the 300m and the 4x200 relay. Hendry set a meet record in the shot put (17.68m) and added a silver medal in the weight throw.
In the Maritimes, StFX's Susie Lajoie and Dalhousie's Simon Watts were the MVPs of the AUS championships. Lajoie reached the podium three times including first-place finishes in the 60m hurdles and the triple jump, while Watts was crowned in the high, long and triple jumps.
In Quebec, Sherbrooke's Pascale Délisle was named the outstanding female athlete for the third straight year after she set an RSEQ record in the pentathlon (3,859 points). Laval's Charles Philibert-Thiboutot earned the male honour thanks to a five-medal haul at the conference championships, including gold in the 1,500m and the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
In Canada West, Victoria's Adam Gaudes earned the men's performance of the meet award thanks to his first-place finishes in the 600m and the 4x400. The women's award went to the Vikes 4x800 relay team of Grace Annear, Shauna McInnis, Kenda Pomfret and Rachel Francois.
NOTES: The list of CIS season awards which will be handed out at Thursday's luncheon includes: athletes of the year in track events (female & male), athletes of the year in field events (female & male), rookies of the year (female & male), and student-athlete community service awards (female & male)... Female and a male championship MVPs will be named at the conclusion of the meet, while the Sue Wise Award will go to the women's coach of the year and the Bob Boucher Award to the men's coach of the year.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/trackfield/index
CIS TEAM CHAMPIONS (last 10 years)
2012 CIS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Thursday, March 8
14:00 Weight Throw (W) Final
15:30 60m Hurdles (W) Pentathlon
15:45 60m Hurdles (M) Pentathlon
16:15 High Jump (W) Pentathlon
16:30 Long Jump (M) Pentathlon
17:45 Shot Put (M) Pentathlon
18:30 60m (W) Heats
18:45 60m (M) Heats
18:45 Shot Put (W) Pentathlon
19:30 60m (W) Final
19:40 60m (M) Final
20:00 Long Jump (W) Pentathlon
20:15 High Jump (M) Pentathlon
21:00 600m (W) Heats
21:15 600m (M) Heats
21:30 800m (W) Pentathlon
21:45 1000m (M) Pentathlon
Friday, March 9
13:30 60m Hurdles (M) Heats
13:45 60m Hurdles (W) Heats
14:10 4x200m Relay (M) Heats
14:25 4x200m Relay (W) Heats
15:30 Weight Throw (M) Final
18:00 Long Jump (W) Final
18:00 Pole Vault (W) Final
18:00 60m Hurdles (W) Final
18:15 60m Hurdles (M) Final
18:45 300m (W) Heats
19:00 300m (M) Heats
19:15 High Jump (M) Final
19:20 1000m (W) Final
19:30 1000m (M) Final
19:50 3000m (W) Final
20:00 Long Jump (M) Final
20:10 3000m (M) Final
20:15 Shot Put (W) Final
20:45 300m (W) Final
20:55 300m (M) Final
21:10 4x800m Relay (W) Final
21:25 4x800m Relay (M) Final
Saturday, March 10
12:30 Triple Jump (W) Final
12:30 Pole Vault (M) Final
13:15 600m (W) Final
13:30 600m (M) Final
14:15 4x200m Relay (W) Final
14:25 4x200m Relay (M) Final
14:45 Triple Jump (M) Final
14:45 Shot Put (M) Final
14:45 1500m (W) Final
15:00 1500m (M) Final
15:00 High Jump (W) Final
16:00 4x400m Relay (W) Final
16:15 4x400m Relay (M) Final
For more information contact:
Earl Zukerman. McGill (514) 398-7012
Michel Bélanger. CIS (613) 447-6334
Chris Zuk, University of Manitoba, Cell: (204) 295-7492