UBC Thunderbirds Kelowna products John Gay (left) and Sean Bergman won gold and silver, respectively, in the 3000m steeplechase at the NAIA national championships.

Kelowna duo 1-2 at NAIA nationals

A pair of Kelowna athletes made their presence felt on the track in 2017 as members of the UBC Thunderbirds.

John Gay and Sean Bergman swept the top two spots in the men’s 3,000 metre steeplechase title in May at NAIA National Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Gay, a third-year member of the UBC track team and OKM grad, successfully defended his title in a time of 9:12.14.

“I’m pretty excited to come back with the opportunity to defend my title, and the only way we could improve on last year was by having another guy on that podium,” Gay said shortly after the win. “We did exactly that, we scored the maximum amount of team points, so I’m on top of the world right now, I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t be more proud of Sean here.”

Bergman, a freshman at UBC and a KSS grad, came in as runner-up to Gay in 9:16.74

“I definitely felt like I had it in me, it was just a matter getting it done on the day and be sitting here with John,” said Bergman.

Gay and Bergman’s efforts were instrumental in helping the Thunderbirds win the overall men’s team title for the first time in school history.

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