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McGill boosters would have needed a walk-in humidor's supply of victory cigars to properly celebrate the string of wins their sports teams put together from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5. During that short two-week span, the baseball, cross-country, soccer and rugby teams all laid their hands on a championship.
The victory parade started on Oct. 22 in Nepean, Ontario, when the Redbirds, McGill's men's baseball squad, mauled Dalhousie 8-0 to seize the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association championship. Second-year McGill marketing student Michael Tomasetta turned in a Herculean performance in the final – belting the game-winning homer and pitching the first no-hitter in McGill history, all despite having to contend with near-freezing cold, high winds, rain, hail and snow. Not surprisingly, Tomasetta's Hollywoodesque heroics earned him tournament MVP honours.
One week later, McGill men's and women's cross-country teams proved they're no slouches either, by capturing provincial team championships in Sherbrooke. The Martlets' Lauren Whyte, topped a field of 37 runners over a treacherous 5k course of mud and snow and was named conference MVP, while Adrian Walton led the Redmen to victory with a strong third-place showing in the 10k race. Dennis Barrett, coach of both the men's and women's teams, was named Coach of the Year.
On the soccer field, the game was different but the victory song remained the same as, on Nov. 5 at Molson Stadium, McGill's Martlets prevailed 1-0 over Laval to win the Quebec university women's soccer championship. Of all the shining moments of the game, few shone brighter than the pair of outstanding saves made by Martlet goaltender Victoria Villalba in the shootout to preserve the win for McGill. The victory gave coach Marc Mounicot and the Martlets their eighth Quebec title in nine years and allowed them to advance to the national championships for a Canadian Interscholastic record 16th straight season.
That same day, the men's rugby team used a little late-game magic of its own to conjure up a provincial championship, defeating their cross-town Concordia rivals 16-12. With the Redmen trailing 12-9 heading into the final minute of the game, flanker Caleb Balloch blocked a Concordia kick that resulted in a game-winning try by teammate John Antonecchia. The come-from-behind victory gave the rugby Redmen their third Quebec championship in the last five years and avenged last year's heart-breaking loss to the same Stingers in the final minute of the championship game.
All in all, a furious fortnight of sporting exploits for McGill. And maybe a sign that someone in purchasing should put in an order for a few more trophy cases.