UBC’s Okanagan campus fielded its first real cross country running team since becoming the Heat and this year sent 10 athletes to the CCAA Championships hosted by Thomson Rivers University on Nov. 12.
Both the men’s and women’s teams finished 13th out of 14 teams represented at the championships across the four CCAA conferences. The PACWEST conference finished last compared to the other three, with an average time of 29:38 (2:28:11 total) for the men and an average of 21:51 (1:49:17) for the women. The men’s race was 8 km while the women’s was 6 km.
Still, for the Heat’s inaugural run—figuratively and literally—they had a good showing and solid team effort.
“They did well as a team and actually placed quite well together,” said coach Nathan Reiter after both races had finished.
David Harbocian led the men’s team with a 29:29 finish of the 8 km race, placing 55th overall. Aurelien Schilles was close behind alongside fellow teammate Alex Hansen, who both finished 29:52 and 30:01, respectively for 62nd and 63rd. Within the same pack of runners at the finish line was Garrett Anstett and Cameron Kroeker, who finished at 65th and 67th, but both finished with a time of 30:08. Matt Redekopp came in shortly after at 73rd with a time of 30:33 while Matt Banfield brought up anchor for his team at 101st and 32:41. There were 112 runners and a final time of 39:05 for the men’s race.
“The guys had a great day team running,” said Nate Reiter. “They came within 15 spots of each other, which is what we were looking for. They ran really tough in the second half of the race.”
Ashley Yip was first across the finish line for the women’s team, finishing 33rd overall with a time of 20:51. Shayla Milan followed shortly after at 21:37 to place at 49th.
Samantha Hayter came in at 22:04, good for 61st and Britney Hearn wrapped things up for the Heat at 67th to record 22:13.
The course was at MacArthur Park in Kamloops, and consisted of a loop on the field behind the MacArthur Island Sports Centre.
The loop was two km long, and so the women completed three laps for their 6 km and the men four for their 8 km. The course was nearly entirely flat with only a few dips and small hills.
Comparing the race to a tougher terrain experience at the PACWEST championships, Ashley Yip commented that “provincials was a shorter race and had a lot more hills, so we could actually have a game plan for the race. This one we pretty much just had to hammer hard.”
The story of the Heat’s cross country for this season was a quick one, taking place over only approximately seven or eight weeks in total.
“Based on the limited training, the athletes performed well,” said coach Reiter.
“However, we are optimistic about our athletes’ progress with another year of training.”