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Gaels win national women’s cross country title

[Gaels hold up the USPORTS women's cross country banner]
Team members of the Queen's Gaels hold up the USports women's cross country banner after winning the national championship on Saturday in Kingston. 

After being ranked No. 1 throughout the entire U Sports season, the Queen’s Gaels came through on the final race of the year, claiming the national title.

On an action-packed Saturday afternoon, the host Gaels won their first U Sports Cross Country Championship at Fort Henry Hill in Kingston. The wind was strong and the snow lightly fell on the grass at the fort but the competition stayed strong throughout the afternoon.
 

Hometown hero Branna MacDougall (28:01.0) was the top placing Gael, finishing third behind winner Lucia Stafford (27:30.3) from Toronto and silver medalist Anne-Marie Comeau (27:44.2) from Laval.

“It feels amazing,” MacDougall said after claiming the national team title. “It’s a moment I’m never going to forget. It’s just so fulfilling and I'm really happy we could do this for (head coach) Steve (Boyd). He’s been through everything with us and I’m just really glad we could bring it home finally. I grew up here and I grew up with Steve as my coach, so it was really pretty emotional to see him so happy and know that we did this together.”

The Gaels’ title was a true team effort, with Kara Blair (28:17.3) and Brogan MacDougall (28:19.6) – younger sister to Branna – finishing in fourth and fifth place respectively, while Marley Beckett (29:08.3) came in 16th and Tori Bouck (29:29.7) came in 24th to round out the Gaels’ total 53 points. 

The Guelph Gryphons came in second place with 74 points and Laval earned the bronze at 96 points

In the men’s race, the Gaels placed seventh overall, with the Calgary Dinos taking the title for a second straight year.  Mitch de Lange led the way for Queen’s with a 10th-place result (31:09.8).

MEN’S RUGBY

The Queen's Gaels made it win 28 in a row and claimed their third straight OUA championship with a 27-18 win over the Guelph Gryphons.

The Gryphons pulled out to an early 15-5 lead but the Gaels struck back with a pair of tries from Sam Ibbotson and Trevor Helgason for a 17-15 lead at the half.

After a penalty kick put the visitors up by one, but a penalty kick in the 73rd minute by Dylan Young followed by Ibbotson second try just six minutes later sealed the win.