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Guelph’s Mitch Ubene pulls off surprise and wins U Sports men’s title



Mitch ubene from the University of Guelph showed Canada to be the king of cross country, winning the 2021 U Sports men’s title on the Plains of Abraham from behind in a remarkable way.

The race got off to a very hot start, with around 20 men taking the lead in the first four kilometers. The pace was pushed forward by UBC Thomas Nobbs, leading the race through 6K in just over 18 minutes. Many of the favorites began to struggle to hold on, with only Ubene and Laval Thomas Fafard on his tail. During the last mile, Ubene made a movement in the back half of the course that gave him a gap in front of Fafard and Nobbs and led him to his first U Sports Cross-Country title.

Thomas Nobbs, Thomas Fafard and Mitch Ubene. Photo: Running in Canada

As Ubene crossed the finish line, he let out a cry of relief, knowing he had won the title. The feeling of redemption was glued to his face after his only setback of the season in his last race, the OUA.

Jessy Lacourse from Laval wins double gold at 2021 U Sports XC Championship

Nobbs, who led the seven kilometer 8 km race, was sixth in 24:41.

The course was a two-kilometer hilly loop around the Plains of Abraham, which riders had to complete four laps.

U Sports XC Men’s Championship preview and predictions

U Sports Men’s 8K Results (Top Five)

  1. Mitch Ubene (Guelph) 24:27
  2. Thomas Fafard (Laval) 24:28
  3. Jean-Simon Desgagns (Laval) 24:30
  4. Andrew Davies (McMaster) 24:38
  5. Jean Perrier (Guelph) 28:40
Photo: Running in Canada

The men of the Rouge-et-Or de Laval, who called themselves “the gorillas” all season, showed us why they are the kings of the jungle. The big three of Laval, Desgagns, Fafard and Jonathan tedeschi all placed in the top 11. Philippe Morneau-Cartier, Laval’s fourth rider to finish, stepped up when Laval needed it most, finishing 21st, to help them score a low score of 62. Laval edged the top-ranked Guelph team by five points for win men’s team gold. McMaster won bronze, bringing his men’s team back to the podium.

WATCH: Celebrating to excess almost costs the long-distance runner the race

U Sports Men’s Team Results (Top Five)

  1. Laval (62 points)
  2. Guelph (67 points)
  3. McMaster (79 points)
  4. UBC (105 points)
  5. West (187 points)

You can see all the results of the 2021 U Sports Cross Country Championship here.




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