Cliff & Bruchet Win Comfortably at BC XC Championships

Clearbrook Park, Abbotsford, BC:  October 26, 2013—Lucas Bruchet and Rachel Cliff took advantage of the warm, dry weather and solid footing to record victories in the senior divisions of the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships.  Both athletes pocketed $500 in prize money awarded to the senior division winners by BC Athletics.

Bruchet, the University of BC graduate, looked confortable winning the men’s 10-race. Just after the mid point of the race, Bruchet broke away from Geoff Martinson (Prairie Inn) and powered his way to the win (30:45).   During the initial 6-k it looked as if the contest might be close but Bruchet made a move at that point and opened up a 100-meter gap that Martinson was never able to overcome.   Martinson, better known as one of Canada’s top ranked 1500 meter runners, finished second (30:59) and took home $300 with Ryan Brockerville, the former Simon Fraser star, who came third (30:59) pocketed $250.

Rachel Cliff, a graduate student at UBC and a former CIAU cross country champion when she represented the University of Guelph, looked comfortable in winning the senior women’s 6-k race (20:58) and took home the $500 that came with the win.   Following a race plan that was similar to that of Bruchet, Cliff was in the lead for most of the race and broke away from the field just after the halfway point.  The win was a confidence builder for Cliff who is making the adjustment from concentrating on middle distance runs to taking part in the longer distance races.

Placing second in the senior women’s race was Sabrina Wilkie (21:10) the Point Grey Track Club competitor who is a solid performer on the road running scene.  Now in her mid twenties, Wilkie seems to improve with each outing an indication of just how important running background and consistent training is.  Trinity Western’s ever-bubbly Alison Jackson, who divides her athletic endeavors between just plain running and biathlon/triathlon competitions, placed third (21:15).

Regan Yee, a freshman at Trinity Western who spent her high school days competing with great success in the Northern BC community of Hazelton, won the junior women’s 5-k race (17:43).   Just nine seconds back of Yee (17:43) was 17 year old Miryam Bassett, representing Vancouver Islands Oceanside Track Club with University of Victoria’s Savannah Gellner just two seconds back (17:54) in third.

The junior men’s 7-k race seemed to pit University of Victoria runners against those from Trinity Western University.  Ben Weir of UVic was the winner (21:07) but he placed a mere one-second in front of Trinity’s Levi Neufeld (21:08).   Third place went to Trinity runner Joel Deschiffart (21:33) with Victoria runners Thomas Getty (21:38) and Matt Noseworthy (22:15) placing fourth and fifth.

While the master’s division age-graded results will take awhile longer to sort out, we do know that 43 year old Craig Odermatt (Prairie Inn) covered the 8-k course in 26:57 placing 44-seconds in front of the rest of the field be they younger or older then himself.   After the race Odermatt seemed satisfied with everything and remarked to course director Sue Northey that the surface was in much better shape then last year when he ran over a minute slower (28:05).  “Well yes,” replied Northey, “but Craig, you perhaps remember that last year the course had been deluged with heavy rain.”   Mike Murphy, a 42-year old placed second (27:41) and Tyler Ginther (44 years) was third (27:55).

Juliette Christie demonstrated that victory does not always go to the youngest in master’s competition.   Christie, at 51 years of age, had by far the fastest time in the female division as she covered the course in 32:54.  Second place was taken by Corinne Issel (34:32) and Michelle Biffart was third (35:14).

Impressive was the increased number of competitors that took part in the older age categories with the senior women’s race attracting 39 runners and the senior men’s competition recording thirty-seven finishers.

So BC should be well represented at the Canadian CC Championships that are scheduled for Jericho Beach Park on Saturday, November 30.   From the results of last Saturday’s competition, this province should be well represented at the national championships.

Full results can be found on the BC Athletics and Valley Royal Track Club web pages.

Royals with numerous Top 10 Placings at BC XC Championships

A bronze medal by Lockhart MacGregor and more than a dozen top 10 finishes highlighted Valley Royal performances at the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships held Saturday at Clearbrook Park.

Lockhart MacGregor took an early lead in the 9 year old boys division, had a bit of a problem in the middle of the race but finished with a burst for a third place finish.  MacGregor’s time over the 1.5-k course was 6:50.  Graham Gill also took part in this race and had a strong eighth place finish.

Although they were still in a state of recovery from the Fraser Valley High School Championships that took place just three days prior to this meet, a number of the club’s older athletes had satisfactory performances.

Sarya Ross fought fatigue from Wednesday’s race and came sixth (18:20) in the junior girls’ 5-k competition, a performance that will probably be good enough to gain Ross selection to the BC Team that will take part in the Canadian Championships.   Following her over the finish line was Callum Pilgrim with a seventh place finish (18:43).

Helen Crofts, the Canadian international middle distance runner, decided to give cross country a try and had a very respectable run by finishing 8th in the tough senior women’s 6-k run (22:58).

Aidan Bingert continued to show improvement and placed fourth in the Youth boys’ 5-k race (16:46).  Bingert was followed across the line by Peter Mitchell (7th—17:00) and Joshua Adhemar (10th—18:43).

Other top 10 performances by Valley Royals athletes included:

Amy Brandt—6th 10-year old girls 2-k
Parker Janzen—7th 11-year old boys 2-k
Rachel Mortimer—4th 12-year old girls 3-k
Josephine Calverly—5th 13-year old girls 3-k
Devon Kular 6th & Liam Bingert 7th –14 year old boys 3-k
Tanner Geary—9th 15-year old boys 3-k
Delaney Chapman 4th and Erica Johnson 7th Youth girls 4-k

Jorgensen Wins Freshman Award at Conference Championships

Oliver Jorgensen, the ever improving Valley Royal cross country runner who now competes for SFU, led the Clan men’s team to a third place finish on Saturday at the Great North-West Championships held in Monmouth, Oregon. Jorgensen covered the 8-k course in a personal best 25:15 for a ninth place finish: the top placing by any freshman in the meet. Jorgensen’s performance gained him the honor of selection as the Outstanding Freshman of the Year award in the GENAC conference. The men’s team placed third in the meet, a much-improved performance over last year’s ninth place finish.

Ross & Pilgrim 1st/2nd in Senior Girls, Sokolowski 3rd in Junior Girls at FV XC

Sarya Ross and Callum Pilgrim placed first and second Wednesday in the senior girl’s race at the Fraser Valley High School Cross Country Championships held at Clearbrook Park.

The sunny, warm weather (22 degrees) seemed to agree with the two Mouat runners with Ross taking the lead from the start with Pilgrim following close behind in a race that saw 169 girls complete the 4.5-k course.   Ross won in a time of 15:27.49 with Pilgrim close behind (15:34.28).

Ross was pleased with the result and felt confident as she followed the pre determined race plan that saw her lead from start to finish.  It was the first medal for Ross at the Fraser Valley cross country level and a complete turnaround from last year when injuries curtailed her progress.

Pilgrim had her strongest race this season and was satisfied with her performance after a sub par run last week.  An all round athlete, Pilgrim fits her running into a shared schedule with other sports.

Alicia Unruh (Mouat) also had her best run of the season and placed seventh with a time of 16:19.   Unfortunately, however, despite having three girls place in the top 10, Mouat lost the team title by one point to Walnut Grove of Langley (60-61).

Two other club runners placed in the top twenty of the senior girls race.  A much-improved performance by Caitlin Leblanc (Sardis) saw her take 12th (16:58).  “I was happy with my run and can feel the gain in strength that has come as a result of hard practices,” stated Leblanc.   Once again Delaney Chapman (Abbotsford Traditional) ran with determination and placed 15th (17:14).

In the junior girl’s 4.5-k run, Kate Sokolowski (GW Graham) put forth a very competitive performance to win the bronze medal (16:00.34).   Sokolowski was with leader Christian Sevsek for three quarters of the race before giving up ground.  At the BC Championships, Sokolowski will take part in the first ever-official BC High School Junior Girls Championship race.

Aiden Bingert (Mouat) was in good form and placed 12th in the senior boy’s 6-k race (21:45).  This was Aiden’s strongest run in these longer distances and easily qualified himself and Peter Mitchell (Mouat) who place 13th (21:51) for the BC Championships.

Other top performances by Royal athletes included the sixth place finish (17:40) from Tanner Geary (Sardis) in the junior boy’s 5-k race followed by Devon Kular (Mouat) in 13th and Liam Bingert 15th.

Sarya Ross wins at Big Rock

Sarya Ross placed first in the senior girls division and led her Mouat team to victory at the Big Rock cross country meet held Thursday at Aldergrove Park.  Despite undergoing a difficult practice on Tuesday, Ross had an even paced run to win with a time of 17:29 over a 4.5-k course that featured a number of steep hills.  Ross was satisfied with her run and feels that she is ready to run well at the forthcoming championship meets.

Two other club athletes that are members of Mouat’s winning team were Callum Pilgrim (4th—18:07) and Alicia Unruh (5th—18:15).   Pilgrim wasn’t entirely satisfied with her run and said she felt uncomfortable during the race while Unruh seems to be rounding into shape for the championship part of the high school season.

Delaney Chapman (Abby Traditional) had a good run and seems to be gaining the strength needed to be successful at cross country placed 19th (19:53).

In the Junior Boys 4.5-k race, Tanner Geary (Sardis) had a good run and placed fourth (16:46).   Tanner, who much refers running track races over the 800 meter distance, was satisfied with his performance and feels he will be ready for the Fraser Valley meet.

Other performances by club members included Kate Sokolowski (Graham) and Erica Johnston (Abbotsford) who came 11th (19:01) and 19th (19:51) respectively in the junior girls 4.5-k run.  In the senior boys race held over a 6.7-k course, Mouat runners Peter Mitchell placed 14th (24:18) and Aiden Bingert 15th (24:30).

Next week will be a busy one for Valley Royal cross country runners as on Wednesday they will compete at the Fraser Valley Championships followed by Saturday’s BC Athletics Club Championship.  Both races take place at Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Park.  

Sokolowski Has Strong Run at Sunfair

Yakima, WA—Oct. 5—The Sunfair High School Cross Country meet is not for the faint of heart. With an excess of 2,500 runners taking part reprenting schools from three states and two provinces each of them contesting one of the more than a dozen races offered on the day long schedule, the mere size and quality of the meet can be overwhelming for many young contestants.

But 15 year old Kate Sokolowski shook off the nerves of running in her first major cross country meet and battled her way to a gold medal in the Junior Varsity women’s 3-mile run. Sokolowski, who represents Chilliwack’s GW Graham Middle School and the Valley Royals track club, took the lead early in the contest and used her diminutive build to good advantage by gaining ground on the upward portion on each of the six steep hills that consume a large portion of the challenging Sunfair course.

Sokolowski completed her run in a time of 19:25 to place well in front of Idaho’s Hanna Orton who finished second and the other 72 girls that took part in this event. After the race Sokolowski was beaming as she put in a call to her parents to let them know the good news.

WJ Mouat runners Sarya Ross and Callum Pilgrim both had quality performances at the meet.  Pilgrim finished second in the Varsity 5 race (19:13) while Ross came up with one of her very best cross country runs ever to take 7th (18:59) in the tough Varsity 6 competition.  

Even though Pilgrim, an all round athlete who splits her time between a number of team sports and running, came on strong in the finishing sprint of her race to just squeeze into second.  Although she was not all that pleased with her run competitor that she is, Pilgrim resolved to be in better form at coming meets.   

Ross, however, was happy that this cross country season is going much better then last year when growing pains hindered her performances.  It was her fastest ever time and on the Sunfair course and she was confident that even better things are to come later this season when the championship high school races get underway

Other notable performances by Valley Royal and Mouat athletes runners included Peter Mitchell’s 19th place (16:54) finish in Varsity Flight five boys’ race and Aidan Bingert who came 18th (17:25) in the Varsity Flight 3 run.   

Full results can be found at:

Siemens & Jorgensen Score For Their Teams

Alex Siemens, a freshman at the University of Idaho and Oliver Jorgensen, a first year student at SFU, have both been impressive at their respective universities.

Siemens has gained strength over the past three weeks and at the present she holds down a scoring position on the Vandal women’s cross country team. It took awhile for Siemens to accustom herself to the added distance of the collegiate competitions and the additional miles she is expected to complete during practices. But after the initial shock of the change from being a high school runner to a collegian, Siemens is making good progress. Two weeks ago at the Sundodger meet held in Seattle, Siemens placed 25th and was the third ranked finisher on the Idaho team.

This coming weekend, Siemens will be in action again when the Vandals travel to Eugene,
Oregon (Oct. 5) where they will compete at the Dellinger Invitational. “I am getting accustomed and gaining confidence with each meet,” stated Siemens.

If Siemens had a challenge in moving up from 4-k competitions to 6-k runs,
then Oliver Jorgensen had even a bigger adjustment to make. University men’s
competitions are held on 8 and 10-k courses that meant that Jorgensen was
competing over distances that are 40 per cent longer then what he was accustomed
to as a high school runner. But the SFU runner is making the adjustment and he is
now one of the leaders on the Clansman cross country team. Last week, Jorgensen
ran in the heat of Southern California and was the first SFU runner to cross the finish
line placing 76 overall. Jorgensen, who had trouble breaking five minutes for 1500
meters as a grade 9 runner, has used patience combined with an outstanding work
ethic and desire to become a very competent runner.