For the second straight year Trent and its athletic department will welcome the country’s best women’s university rugby teams. The university and its newly named Justin Chui stadium will be the battleground for the annual Canadian Interuniversity Athletics (CIS) women’s rugby championships.
The event will see the champions of each university provincial conference, as well as the tournament host, compete for the title of Canadian champion.
The championship’s organizing team has been hard at work preparing for the championships. Trent Athletics department Sport Information Officer Blair Hough anticipates that the event will be not only run smoothly, but be an enjoyable experience for both competitors and spectators.
“Feedback from last years championship has allowed us to work out any kinks,” states Hough.
Information on change rooms and facilities for teams were taken into consideration for this year’s event.
The 2010 CIS ruby nationals as well as the World Lacrosse Championships in 2007 have given Trent not only the experience, but the reputation for putting together top-notch sporting events.
The Excalibur, under head coach Nancy Marcotte, bounced back from a winless season in 2010, to a respectable 3-2 record only to suffer a heart breaking overtime loss to eventual provincial bronze medallist, Queens University.
Marcotte and three of her players were recognized this season by the league and their peers for both individual and team performances. Team captain Lauren Wizowski, Peterborough native Ashley Burton and fourth-year eightman Kaitlin Newton were all named OUA Russell Division All-Stars, while Nancy Marcotte was named divisional coach of the year.
Teams from across the country began trickling in on Tuesday in preparation for the championship. Wednesday will allow each team an opportunity to practice and, later to honour the national all-stars before getting ready to play on Thursday in the opening rounds.
Teams in this year’s nationals include, Eastern Canada (AUS) champions St. Francis Xavier X-Women, Canada West champions Lethbridge Pronghorns, Quebec (RSEQ) conference champions Laval Rouge et Or, Ontario champions Guelph and Ontario silver medallist McMaster Marauders.
Trent will round out the six-team tournament as championship host.
With good performances this season against Ontario’s best, the Excalibur are hoping for better results than last year’s national championships. Trent went winless in the event, suffering significant losses to Queens, Guelph and St. Francis Xavier.
One can only expect that with its vast improvement from last season that better results are in the cards for the Excalibur.
As Scene in Peterborough This Week.