The U(pside down), by Alex Cyr

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The U(pside down), by Alex Cyr
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The U(pside down), by Alex Cyr


It’s weird that so many of us make hasty predictions about how runners will rank at the U SPORTS championship. We should know by now that individual rankings based on September results are often bogus. My...

coach in Windsor Gary Malloy once told me he never partook in these types of predictions. When I asked why, he said it was because he hated being wrong about things.

Fair enough.

As for the rest of us, we rank away as soon as results surface. Apparently, we don’t mind stamping our words on Trackie and then coming across as buffoons when the second year runner we picked to win it all – the one whose legs cramped up when she tried running up the hill to collect her medal after running the race of her life on Thames Valley Golf Course – crashes and burns miserably by mid-October.

My six (seven?) years around the league have taught me that Gary had a point: if you’re in the business of being right all the time, early predictions shouldn’t be your game. Most of the time, the eventual winners and big players only hit their full stride another three, four, five weeks – they peak later. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at last year. Here are the winners of the first exhibition conference races of 2018, and their eventual U SPORTS finish:

OUA: Mark Patton – U SPORTS placing: 17

AUS: Alex Neuffer – U SPORTS placing: 25

RSEQ: Maxime Lopes – U SPORTS placing: 92


OUA: Brogan MacDougall – U SPORTS placing: 1*

AUS: Michelle Reddy – U SPORTS placing: 19

RSEQ: Anne-Marie Comeau – U SPORTS placing: 6

CanWest doesn’t meet as a conference early in the year, so it’s harder to assess how runners match up against each other.

2018 Female eventual U SPORTS winner: Brogan MacDougall. She was not beaten by anybody all year, so she counts as an exception.

Additional information

Writer(s) Alex Cyr