Both the UBC Okanagan women’s and men’s teams improved their performances over last year at the B.C. Athletics Cross Country Championships.
Because no other schools from PACWEST ran in the event last weekend in Abbotsford, there were no team placings or scores for Heat teams.
On an individual basis, Michelle Blackburne was tops for the UBCO women, finishing the senior 6-kilometre race in 23:32.10 for 20th overall.
Other Heat finishers were: 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 indicated she is 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.”
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 four in the race.
Running in the Master’s Division (over 35 years) race and 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 eight-km race. Cael Warner competed in the Junior Division (16-19 years) and finished 13th in 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.