By Mike Still
The men’s cross country team ran their first season in a long time without former star Matt McNeil, who they lost to graduation earlier in the year. Nonetheless, the team had strong leadership from captains Angus MacIntosh and Will Russell, finishing the season second in the AUS conference and taking 13th nationally.
The team started the season in Wolfville at the Acadia Invitational. MacIntosh was the first Dalhousie finisher on the tight and technical course, taking second individually.
He was followed by rookie sensation Trent Lynds in eighth, Owen Bishop in 14th, Colin Long in 15th and Michael Rogers in 16th to complete the scoring contingent for the Tigers. The team took second overall behind Memorial University, scoring 48 points to the Sea-Hawks’ 32.
Next up was the Moncton Invitational on September 24, where the team placed second again, behind StFX. Co-captain Russell was the top Tiger that day, with a fifth-place finish. MacIntosh was not far behind, with Callum Drever, Lynds and Jake Wing scoring the rest of the team’s points.
In October, the Tigers returned to Halifax to compete at Point Pleasant Park in the Dal/SMU Invitational. They took second as a team behind StFX, scoring 62 points to the winning tally of 35. Individually, it was Wing with a seventh-place finish to lead the team on home turf. Next across the line were Brendan Gemmell, MacIntosh, Lynds and Long to score for Dalhousie.
Later that month, the team competed at the University of New Brunswick in the AUS-RSEQ Interlock meet. The race had competitors from both conferences, and runners from Laval and StFX all but swept the top 10 spots.
The first Dalhousie finisher was Russell in 16th, with Wing just behind him to take 17th place. MacIntosh, Drever and Lynds helped the Tigers to a fourth-place finish as a team, where they scored 103 points to winner Laval’s 19.
Following the Interlock meet, it was championship season. At the AUS championships, the men raced the 10 kilometre distance for the first time during the campaign.
Consistent with past results, StFX won the men’s title, and Dalhousie placed second. Dalhousie scored 49 points, 32 points off the X-Men’s very low 17-point total.
Russell and Wing again led the team, finishing fourth and seventh respectively. MacIntosh, Drever and Lynds were next to finish for Dalhousie at the penultimate meet of the season.
Lynds took home rookie of the year honours after a spectacular season, finishing with a time of 34:14 in his first attempt at the longer distance.
For the U SPORT championships, the men travelled to Quebec City, where the meet was hosted by Laval.
The home team took the overall title, and Dalhousie improved upon the previous year’s finish with a team placing of 13th. Captains MacIntosh and Russell were the top two Tigers, coming in 57th and 73rd, respectively. Wing, Drever, and Rogers were the team’s other scoring runners.