TOP HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS IN BC GO HEAD-TO-HEAD-TO-HEAD AT THE ISLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS
(ISN) – For the second year a row, the top three senior boys high school cross country teams in the province will be competing at the Vancouver Island Cross Country Championships. This year’s championship, to be held at Elk/Beaver Lake Park in Victoria, BC on Wednesday October 22nd, also marks the first time that the Island Championships will feature a junior division, giving an opportunity for athletes in grades nine and ten to compete for their own championship.
“With the junior athletes having their own championship, there is an opportunity for spectators to see the elite high school teams of BC competing while the future talent of the juniors will also be on full display,” said Tessa Kubicek, Vancouver Island Cross Country Commissioner and Oak Bay HS coach. “Our island athletes and coaches are excited about the expansion of the championship and the opportunity to include more athletes in cross country racing.”
For the Senior Boys race, the top three teams in the province once again return to compete for the team title. Dover Bay SS returns almost their entire 2013 provincial championship team and have to be seen as the favourite at both the Island Championships and at the BC Championships. Oak Bay HS and Reynolds SS, respectively silver medalists and bronze medallists a year ago at the BC Championships, are once again fielding strong teams with Claremont SS also challenging for a podium spot at the Island Championships. Individually, Nic Ascui (Dover Bay SS, Nanaimo) and Brendan Hoff (Reynolds SS, Victoria) look to be top contenders for the Islands Championship title, with Peter Oxland (Dover Bay SS) and Sean Miller (John Barsby Community School, Nanaimo) looking to repeat their silver and bronze medal finishes at the Island Championships a year ago.
The senior girls competition promises to be close as Madison Heisterman (Queen Margaret’s School, Duncan) finished in front of 2013 BC Cross Country silver medallist Desirae Ridenour (Frances Kelsey SS, Mill Bay) and the up and coming Hannah Henry (Mount Douglas SS, Victoria) at last week’s Fall Classic Invitationa, raced on the upcoming provincial championship course. The senior girls team competition will also be tight with Nanaimo District SS, St. Michael’s University School, and Oak Bay HS looking to be threats for the podium come Wednesday.
The junior races feature some notable athletes to watch over the coming years. On the junior girls side, Justine Secko (Oak Bay HS, Victoria) outpaced the field for the win at the Fall Classic Invitational this past week. For the junior boys, Jack Stanley (Oak Bay HS, Victoria) has established himself as favourite by winning the Fall Classic Invitational. Perennial powerhouse Oak Bay HS is also the favourite in both the junior girls and junior boys team events.
With the addition of the junior division at the Island Championships, over 500 athletes are expected to compete over the gruelling cross country course. The Vancouver Island High School Cross Country Championship occurs at Beaver Lake Park (near the entrance to the park off of Elk Lake Dr.) on Wednesday October 22nd, 2014. The junior girls and boys, as well as the senior girls race over a 4.5km course, while the senior boys will compete over 6.7km. Races begin 1:00pm with the junior girls who are followed by the junior boys at 1:30pm, the senior girls at 2:30pm and the senior boys at 3:00pm. Awards will begin promptly at 3:45pm at the finishing area.