Defending the gold medal turned out to be too big of a task for the UBC Okanagan women’s cross country team.
The Heat ended up settling for fifth place last weekend at the 2014 CCAA national championships in Calgary, narrowly missing out on a podium finish.
Pacing UBC Okanagan for every race this year West Kelowna runner Michelle Blackburne was once again tops for UBC Okanagan finishing the women’s 5-kilometre race in 20:30 for 17th overall, 14th amongst those scoring for a school.
Next to cross the line for UBC Okanagan was Alea Stockton, the Science student from Yellowknife led a pack of three Heat runners timing in at 20:54, just ahead of Shayna Quibell (21:03), who hails from Calgary and had a strong race on a familiar track. Nursing student Trisha Metro (21:10) was just seven seconds after Quibell.
The pack of three finished 21st, 29th, 33rd respectively and rounded out the scoring for UBC Okanagan who finished with 97 points.
Displacer for UBC Okanagan were Julianna Neudorf (21:38; 49th) and Annelies Wentzel (21:39; 50th).
The UBC Okanagan men ran to their best finish ever at a national championship, placing seventh overall.
Cael Warner , 18, a 2014 graduate of Penticton Secondary was the top male runner at the CCAA’s finishing the race in 13th with a time of 28:22 just nine seconds from a tournament all-star.
Graduate student Colin Wallace chased Cael for the full eight kilometers and finished 25th (29:15) as the second UBC Okanagan runner to cross the finish line. The other two runners scoring for the Heat were Joshua Tremblay who finished 40th (30:00) in exactly a half an hour, Erik Paulsen just edged out the first UBC Okanagan displacer, Mackenzie Wong with a time of 30:12. Mackenzie crossed at 30:15, they finished 42nd and 43rd respectively.
The final displacer for the Heat was Scott Lyons who placed 77th amongst individuals at a time of 31:11.