A U Sports activities championship 59 years within the making

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Once you consider historic sporting droughts, the McMaster College males’s cross-country group isn’t the primary Ontario sports activities group to return to thoughts. However on Nov. 12, the McMaster males shattered a wild 59-year title drought to win the 2022 Canadian U Sports activities XC Championships in Halifax. 

Max Turek celebrates profitable the 2022 U Sports activities XC Championship. Photograph: Maggie Veitch, McMaster Athletics

The McMaster males have been the number-one-ranked group within the nation all season, however their earlier second- and third-place finishes over the previous three seasons at U Sports activities confirmed that historical past repeated itself. 

This 12 months was totally different for the Marauders, as they introduced again Dylan Alick for his ultimate 12 months of eligibility (he competed for the group between 2016 and 2019). The group additionally had a well known “three-headed monster” on the entrance, with 2021 OUA champion Andrew Davies, Alex Drover and Max Turek, who gained all 4 races he entered in 2022. This 12 months, the three males all positioned within the high 5 individually.

“For many of those guys, this was their final shot,” says McMaster head coach Paula Schnurr. “It was a particular second for these males and this system as an entire.”

Max Turek, Andrew Davies and Sam Nusselder on the entrance of the pack. Photograph: Maggie Veitch, McMaster Athletics

“The group of Turek, Drover, Alick and Sam Nusselder all got here in collectively,” says Schnurr. “They’ve tasted a little bit of success throughout their time right here, however bringing a championship to McMaster has all the time been their objective.”

Though Turek took the person win, Schnurr held again her celebrations till she noticed all 5 males cross the end line. “I had a great feeling we gained the group title, however I refused to imagine it till I noticed the official outcomes,” she says.

Schnurr, a two-time Canadian Olympian within the 1,500m, has been with the McMaster monitor/XC program for greater than 25 years, though she solely stepped into the top teaching position in 2010. Within the final 13 years, Schnurr has helped rework McMaster right into a hotspot for a few of Canada’s high up-and-coming distance runners. 

The McMaster males earlier than the beginning of the 2022 U Sports activities XC Championships. Photograph: Maggie Veitch, McMaster Athletics

“Arduous work or constructing success doesn’t occur in a single day,” says Schnurr. “Not one of the males on our group medalled at OFSAA XC in highschool. Our program believes in dedication and improvement.”

Schnurr believes deeply find out what works for her athletes of their first and second years and constructing on that for years three and 4. “Not all athletes are the identical,” she says. “Every year, I’m making an attempt to do issues in a different way.”

Though solely seven members of the McMaster group have been allowed to compete at U Sports activities, Schnurr emphasised that many others have helped McMaster get to this stage. 

“This win is for the 13 years of groups that got here earlier than them,” Schnurr says. “They’ve all helped construct this program to the place it’s at the moment. Now, these seven males will share this particular bond for the remainder of their lives, and depart behind a historic legacy.”


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