okanagan heat

October 2, 2012, TACOMA, WA – Building upon momentum from last weekend, the Heat women narrowly missed the team victory finishing as the second team at the Pacific Lutheran Invitational Cross Country meet in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday (Sep 29).

The UBC Okanagan women were positioned to win the team title before one of their runners ran off course with a few hundred meters to the finish line. The mistake cost the team two points, the Heat finished one point shy of meet winner the Pacific Lutheran Lutes.

“Nikki and I were extremely pleased with the women’s performance. It was tough to lose the team title by only one point however the girls learned a valuable lesson that will prepare them for future races,” points out coach Nathan Reiter.

Leading the charge was rookie sensation from Mt. Boucherie, Michelle Blackburne, who finished 2nd overall in 24:24 over the 6 km course. The remainder of the Heat women filled the top 10 finishing 6th – Ashley Yip (25:18.20), 7th – Trisha Metro (25:29.20), 8th – Alea Stockton (25:57.04), and 10th – Shayla Millan (26:21.24).

Ashley Yip, a Kelowna Secondary product in her second year racing with the team, was very enthusiastic about the trip to Washington and the team’s results.

“I was surprised that we could hold our own against the American competitors and it was a fast fun race,” comments the microbiology major. “It was like running through a corn maze.”

In the men’s race, first year Jeff Kerkovius made his debut for the Heat placing 12th overall in a time of 28:14.01. Similar to last weekend, the men’s team showed great depth having their 2nd to 5th runners within a 33 second span. Roger Sherwood (28:52.97), Garrett Anstett (28:57.11), Carlos Capela (29:23.07), and Jared Kesteven (29:25.23) rounded out the men’s scoring.

“The men showed some good improvement from last year’s performances,” Reiter points out. “I am very excited to field our full roster in the weeks to come.”

“I’m excited to see what we can do at the bigger upcoming race in Seattle,” says Yip as she continues to train as the season continues into the fall.

The Cross Country season will continue in two weeks on October 13 at the Emerald City Open hosted by the Seattle University Red Hawks. (http://www.goseattleu.com/)