Luc Bruchet

VANCOUVER – Competing for their respective clubs, a number of UBC athletes took to the muddy and wet conditions of Jericho Beach at the Canadian Cross Country Championships today.


Luc Bruchet led a flurry of UBC athletes with the individual title in the senior men’s race while Maria Bernard placed sixth in the senior women’s competition, the top UBC female performance on Saturday.

Junior Women/Junior Men
Natalia Hawthorn and Jesse Hooton were the lone junior athletes competing in the six and eight-kilometre championships, respectively. The freshman Hawthorn, an All-American from last week’s NAIA Championships, competed for her hometown team, the Newmarket Huskies running 19 minutes, 6 seconds en route to a 23rd place finish.

Hooton, from North Vancouver and competing unattached, covered the 8km distance in 26:40, good for 12th place. Hooton, also in his first year at UBC, was the T-Birds’ third scorer at the NAIA championships last weekend placing 56th.

Senior Women
Mixing it up with some of the best senior athletes in the country, Maria Bernard came away with a sixth place finish covering the 7km distance in a time of 25:25. Representing her hometown club, the U of C Athletics Club, Bernard secured a spot on the NACAC Championship team to be held in Trinidad & Tobago in February.

Amelie de Fenoyl ended her season with a 17th-place performance, a great way to end her third cross country season with UBC.

Catherine Farish and Micha Gutmanis were separated by 15 seconds coming through as the next two UBC athletes, placing 25th and 27th, respectively.

Kirsten Lee capped off her season with a good performance, coming through in 37th while former UBC athlete Lissa Zimmer was 41st.

Local runner Natasha Wodak won the race in a time of 24:30, a mere four seconds ahead of second place.

Senior Men
Luc Bruchet led the way for UBC athletes, representing his club affiliate, the Point Grey Track Club, taking the victory and his first national title, as the winner of the Canadian Cross Country Championships. After a surge gave him a sizeable advantage at the midway point of the race, Bruchet never looked back, covering the 10km course in a time of 31:38 in the tough conditions of Jericho Park. His first-place finish helped his club secure the team title for the second consecutive year.

“It’s pretty awesome to come away from the race as a national champ. It’s the first time I’ve won any national meet and do so on my home course in front of so many friends and family was amazing,” said Bruchet. “If you look at the past winners of this meet the have gone on to greater athletic accomplishments, I’m hoping one day I can do the same thing. Winning was a great honour, but more than anything it adds more fuel to the fire, motivation to work harder and become as fast as possible.”

There were issues with official results as a number of athletes were omitted due to technical issues. Tentatively, the UBC results for the senior men’s 10km were as follows:

Tim Huebsch 23rd 33:55.21
Matt Galea 42nd 35:49.78
Curtis AuCoin 35th 34:49.13

Devin Rajala, Michael Bourgeois and Travis Fraser were unofficially in the top-50 but their names do not appear on the official results as of Saturday evening.

Saturday marks the end of the 2013 season for the Thunderbirds who will enjoy a week or two off before getting back to work in preparation for the 2014 track season, with indoors beginning in January.