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.