Luc Bruchet

With another year of training and experience under his belt, and a taste of international competition, Luc Bruchet is eyeing a number of benchmarks in 2014, his fourth and final year of eligibility with the UBC Thunderbirds. Bruchet returns as the NAIA champion in the 1,500m and hopes to build on a fifth place finish in the 5,000m this spring.
Though Luc had a number of impressive performances earlier in his university stint, including All-American honours on a handful of occasions, along with a fourth place finish at the 2011 NAIA Championships, things never seemed to come full circle. A number of injuries prevented him from getting in consistent training, only managing periods of three to four months at a time.
“Coming into last year’s season, I seemed to finally figure everything out and was able to build the fitness through consistency logging heavy mileage week in and week out,” said Bruchet. “Being consistent with strength work, stretching, and sleep are the minor things that help you become a better athlete.”
In the midst of a successful fall season, having represented the Point Grey Track Club, Bruchet plans on improving on his fifth-place finish from last year at the Canadian Cross Country Championships November 30. Luc is one of a handful of competitors favored for a podium spot next weekend at the Canadian Cross Country Championships at Jericho Park.
His fifth-place result from 2012 earned him a spot on the IAAF World Cross-Country Championship team where he represented Canada in Bydgoszcz, Poland in late March. UBC Coach Marek Jedrzejek accompanied Luc on the trip as the Head Coach for Team Canada. Bruchet would end up 65th over the 12km distance.
Less than a month removed from his trip to Poland, Bruchet would use the strength and fitness gained during the buildup to have a breakthrough performance at the Mt. Sac Relays in mid-April. In hopes of achieving the standard for the 2013 FISU Summer Universiade, Bruchet booked his ticket to Kazan, Russia running 13:54.59 for 5,000m, which held up as the third fastest mark of the year by a Canadian.  
As Bruchet prepared for the July trip to Russia, he added an NAIA title in the 1,500m to go along with a lifetime best over that distance, and a fourth-place finish at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in the longer of his two races. At the Summer Universiade in Russia, Luc would end up ninth in the 5,000m final in just his seventh race over that distance.
“It was a pretty amazing experience,” noted Bruchet. “Making the FISU team was a huge goal of mine from the start of cross-country last year, and to follow through and make the team was extremely pleasing. It was my first ‘larger games’ team, and competing in the 5,000m final in front of 40,000 people was something I’ll never forget.”
Following his stay in Russia, his European stint continued in Finland, Sweden, and Belgium among others, racing in the notorious European circuit, a hotspot for athletes during the summer months. Often times, these races attract top-notch athletes trying to hit certain times to qualify for championship competitions, creating the perfect racing opportunity for lifetime bests.
“It was my first taste of the European racing experience and was much different than your typical Canadian track meets,” said Bruchet, a fifth-year Kinesiology student. “Athletics in Europe is huge where the combination of competition and big fan turnouts makes for a great atmosphere.”
Now nearing the fall season, Bruchet is in the process of preparing for his final meet of the season, the Canadian Cross Country Championships, where he was fifth in 2012 and really jump-started the success he’s had in the previous 12 months. Thanks to wins at the Western Washington Invitational and the BC Club Championships in October, Bruchet remains unbeaten this fall season.
So, what changes can be attributed to the renewed success this past season? For Bruchet, it’s the mindset that he can be competitive on any given day.
“The mentality has definitely shifted over the last few months,” noted Bruchet, adding, “I think I deserve to be mentioned along with the rest of Canada’s top runners. I know I’m still on my way up and have lots to prove, but to be the best you have to the mindset that you’re just that.”
It doesn’t hurt that Bruchet now lives with training partner and competitor Kelly Wiebe, who made the move to Vancouver seven months ago, from Regina. Wiebe was the 2012 Vancouver Sun Run Champion and CIS Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
“He keeps me in check,” said Bruchet. “Seeing him do all the small things (stretching, rolling, core) motivates me to do the same thing on a regular basis.”
No longer having cross-country eligibility, hence his absence on the results sheet for the Thunderbirds, Bruchet red-shirted a year of track in his second year, giving him another shot at an NAIA title in late spring. Already a 1,500m title under his belt, he will to target the 5,000m this time around. 
“It will be nice to be back racing in the UBC singlet in the spring,” added Bruchet. It would be fun to take a shot at a few of the school records, possibly the indoor 3,000m, the outdoor 1,500m, maybe the 5,000m. I would like to win another NAIA national title at the outdoor championships, this time in the 5,000m.”
If all goes to plan, Bruchet will look to try and knock off the Commonwealth Games standard, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland next summer.
Keep an eye out for Bruchet and a number of other UBC athletes running for their respective clubs in the Canadian Cross Country Championships on November 30.