Rain and mud contributed to true cross country race conditions but the UBC Okanagan Heat finished strong as they prepare for the upcoming national championships.
ABBOTSFORD, BC – The UBC Okanagan Heat Cross Country team competed in the BC Athletics Provincial Cross Country Championships on Saturday, October 25th at Clearbrook Park in Abbotsford.
Formerly the BC Athletics Provincial Championships would serve as the unofficial PACWEST provincial championships but for 2014, no other schools from the conference ran in the race so there were no team scores or placings for UBC Okanagan.
Continuing to lead the Heat women runners Michelle Blackburne was tops for UBC Okanagan finishing the Senior Women’s 6-kilometre race in 23:32.10 for 20th overall. Just after Blackburne finished the course Trisha-Lee Metro (24:31.51; 25th), Shayna Quibell (24:38.32; 26th) and Alea Stockton (24:42.38; 27th) crossed the line packed in tightly to all count as scorers. Only seconds behind the top four was Annelies Wentzel (25:07.88; 28th) and Julianna Neudorf (25:16.99; 29th) as displacers.
Heat coach Nikki Reiter indicates she’s happy with the team’s progress, “All of the women who raced this course last year improved upon their previous times, which is great to see when the course conditions were actually worse this year.”
Last year’s results on this course for the three runners carried over from 2013 are: Michelle Blackburne (14th in 23:44.95), Alea Stockton (16th in 24:46.97) and Trish Metro (22nd in 25:28.53).
Big improvements were also seen on the men’s side, with much faster times seen compared to last year’s cohort. Leading the men’s team in the senior 10-kilometre race was Erik Paulsen (35:09.47; 23rd) with Scott Lyons (35:16.93; 24th) and Mackenzie Wong (35:19.65; 25th) not far behind. Alex Hansen (35:58.82; 28th) rounded out the top 4 in the race.
Running in the Master’s Division (over 35 years) race yet also competing for UBC Okanagan as a graduate student was Colin Wallace, who went 27:24.46 for first place in the 35-39 age category of the 8-km race. Cael Warner competed in the Junior Division (16-19 years) and finished 13th amongst a competitive field in 22:55.31 at a length of seven kilometres.
Next up the team travels to Calgary for the CCAA National Championships, as the women look to defend their national title from 2013, and the men look to medal for the first time ever.
Women 20+ 6k Run CC 20 Blackburne, Michelle 20 UBC Okanagan 23:32.10 25 Metro, Trisha-Lee 31 UBC Okanagan 24:31.51 26 Quibell, Shayna 18 UBC Okanagan 24:38.32 27 Stockton, Alea 20 UBC Okanagan 24:42.38 28 Wentzel, Annelies 22 UBC Okanagan 25:07.88 29 Neudorf, Julianna 19 UBC Okanagan 25:16.99 31 Beaudoin, Anne-Sophie 17 UBC Okanagan 26:32.39 32 Schellenberg, Savannah 19 UBC Okanagan 26:46.69 Men 20+ 10k Run CC 23 Paulsen, Erik 20 UBC Okanagan 35:09.47 24 Lyons, Scott 19 UBC Okanagan 35:16.93 25 Wong, Mackenzie 20 UBC Okanagan 35:19.65 28 Hansen, Alex 24 UBC Okanagan 35:58.82 34 Alethawy, Ali 19 UBC Okanagan 40:19.76 Men 35-39 8k Run CC 1 Wallace, Colin 36 UBC Okanagan 27:24.46 Men 16-19 7k Run CC 13 Warner, Cael 18 UUBC Okanagan 22:55.31