On a sunny morning on the Eagle Trail, just off UBC’s Okanagan campus, the UBC Okanagan Heat cross country team duelled with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in their first race of the season. The Heat swept both the women’s and men’s team events last Saturday over its close rival.
The Heat women ran an especially quick race, taking the first four spots Saturday to achieve the lowest possible team score of 10 points. First year human kinetics student Michelle Blackburne of West Kelowna led all women, winning the four kilometre race with a time of 16:17 on the challenging course, with fellow Heat teammates Ashley Yip (2nd, 16:38), Alea Stockton (3rd, 16:44) and Trisha Metro (4th, 16:45) close behind.
Heat men also won the team title with 18 points, with the top Heat runner being David Harbocian of Orillia, ON, as he led his team with a 3rd place finish in 21:44 on the six kilometre course. Rounding out the scorers for UBC Okanagan were Roger Sherwood (4th, 21:47), Garrett Anstett (5th, 21:56), and Carlos Capela (6th, 22:02).
Coaches Nikki and Nathan Reiter were very pleased with the teams’ performances, namely how well the athletes worked together out on the course. “Our men’s and women’s teams ran tightly packed today, exhibiting only an 18-second spread from first to fourth on the men’s side and a 28-second spread on the women’s side, indicating that they recognize the importance of all four runners finishing as quickly as possible” explained coach Nikki Reiter.
The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s and women’s rugby teams will play in full 15’s games this weekend in Calgary with the women’s varsity rugby squad playing its first ever match. This historic series will take place today and Saturday at the Calgary Irish Fields.
Not only will the Heat women will be playing in their first ever match, with only varsity players, this will also be the first time the new style of jersey will be adorned by the team. Rob O’Brien, the head coach of both the men’s and women’s squad, believes the new style of jersey will spark the team’s branding for years to come.
The upcoming schedule for the Heat women will have the squad play a mixed team of Mount Royal University and University of Calgary players today before playing a series of half games on Saturday. The women play the University of Lethbridge and the University of Alberta and all of the matches are to take place at the Calgary Irish fields.
The Heat men will play Mount Royal University and then play the University of Calgary on Saturday. The Heat men 15’s team will use these games to prepare for the 2nd annual Hindson Cup that will be held in Kelowna on Oct 27, 2012. This year’s Hindson Cup will have teams competing from Mount Royal University, University of Calgary and Washington State University.
For the rest of the season in women 15’s UBC Okanagan will continue to supply most of its varsity team to the Kelowna Crows women’s rugby team that currently competes in the BC Rugby League.
The UBCO Heat fell to the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in the inaugural match of the Big Kahuna/BC Cup falling in three sets (26-24, 25-23, 25-21), in Kamloops on Wednesday.
For the Heat the most efficient player was second year Leo Schober, the middle blocker from Kelowna Secondary finished the night with four kills and two blocks.
With plenty of new faces on the Heat, head coach Greg Poitras has yet to have his squad notch a victory in the preseason.
“We played all three sets tough; we just couldn’t find a way to finish. With nine new members on the squad from last year – means that we are still just trying to get the timing and rhythm of each other down at this point in the season,” said Poitras. “I’m not making it any easier as a coach on them, as I continue to try different line-ups and rotations – mixing it up out there, as much as possible.”
The Big Kahuna | BC Cup will continue the rest of the preseason with all four BC CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) taking part. The other two schools are Trinity Western and UBC. The winning CIS School will donate a 500 dollar Big Kahuna gift certificate on behalf of Big Kahuna to the high school of their choice.