Awards Banquet Fast Approaching on Wed Feb 12……

Just a reminder that the Valley Royals Awards Banquet will take place at the Legacy Centre (adjacent Rotary Stadium) on Wednesday evening February 12. This gala evening will feature a buffet dinner that precedes awards that are presented to every athlete in attendance. The Awards banquet has always been a quick paced, fun filled evening that gives the athletes a chance to dress up and celebrate last year’s performances.

If you have not yet done so, please let your coach know that you and your family and friends will be attending.

Royals To Compete at Olympic Oval

Next Saturday (Feb. 1) a number of Valley Royal athletes will compete at the Jerome Indoor competition that takes place at Richmond’s Olympic Oval. Only in its second year of operation, the 2014 Jerome Indoor has attracted a huge field of competitors. Leading the way for the Royals will be Hailey Gibson in the women’s 60-meters and Peter Mitchell who will run the men’s 1,000 meters.

Tom Dickson Sets New Record in Seattle

Received world that coach Tom Dickson in addition to his duties as an outstanding coach is still performing well as an athlete. Last Saturday at the Husky Indoor meet in Seattle, Tom broke Harold Morioka’s 10 year old M60 Canadian record of 7.80 in the 60m. Tom covered the distance in 7.73 seconds, .03 sec faster then his opening performance last year.

Mason a Winner in Seattle

Mike Mason got his 2014 indoor season off to a good start last Sunday (Jan. 19) at the University of Washington’s Husky Invitational. Mason won the high jump event with a leap of 2.19 meters. In a week’s time Mason leaves for a warm weather training camp in Phoenix, Arizona.

Oliver Jorgensen had a very pleasing effort in Seattle by running the 3,000 meters in a personal best time of 8:32.84. Oliver’s performance ranks him second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and qualifies him for the conference championships that take place next month.

Jessica Smith to race in women’s 800m invitational at AC Indoor Open

Ottawa – Athletics Canada is excited to announce today that Jessica Smith of North Vancouver, B.C., will race in the women’s invitational 800-metres at the inaugural AC Indoor Open. Jessica was a semi-finalist in the 800-metres at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With an outdoor personal best under 2-minutes (1:59.86), Jessica is one the best middle distance athletes in Canada. 
2012 Olympic Games


AC: We’re excited that you’ve decided to participate in the AC Indoor Open. Being based out of British Columbia, have you had the opportunity to race or visit Montreal before?


JS: I am looking forward to my first indoor competition in Canada and my first visit to Montreal! It sounds like it will be a fantastic competition with a great atmosphere!


AC: You set an indoor 800-metres personal best last year in Seattle of 2:05.22, what are you and your coach focusing on this winter with your training so you can continue to improve?  


JS: I am excited to race indoors again and set another personal best time! This winter I really focused on strengthening my weaknesses and concentrated on my running form so that I can be a more efficient runner. Additionally, I am always working to improve my racing strategies and gain even more experience at the highest level to prepare for 2016.


AC: After representing Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games you missed out on the World Championships last year by one spot. Looking back, what did you learn from the 2013 season and what are you most proud of?


JS: Not participating in the World Championships last year was definitely disappointing, but I continued to race to the best of my ability and still achieved the honour of representing Canada on two other national teams. I am most proud of my ability to return to international competition with the same strength and confidence that I had in the 2012 season, maintaining my second place ranking within Canada, and the continuation of performances at the 2-minute mark.


AC: People are always interested to hear how athletes balance the responsibilities of training and work. How do you manage your time and what kind of training set up do you currently have? 


JS: I am training full-time and have continued to train with the SFU track and field team and alumni under the mentorship of Brit Townsend. I work in the Athletic Department at SFU part-time to help financially support myself and my passion in sport. I completed my undergraduate degree last spring and have no immediate plans to take more classes.


AC: What goals or events are you the most excited about in 2014?


JS: Each year there are new opportunities and experiences that are always memorable and exciting, but I am looking forward to continuing my progression to decrease my personal best time and look forward to hopefully competing for Canada again this summer at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.


2013 Canadian Championship & World Trials


The 2014 AC Indoor Open will take place in Montreal, Que., March 14 – 16 at the newly renovated Centre Claude-Robillard. The event serves as a Canadian Championship for youth and junior athletes and will feature a number of Olympians and World Championship national team members in invitational events. For more information and to register for the inaugural AC Indoor Open visit



News about Valley Royals athletes….

Congratulations to Oliver Jorgensen who has just completed an excellent first season as a member of the Simon Fraser University Cross Country team.  Oliver distinguished himself by becoming the leader on the Clan men’s team:  a tribute for a young man who under the guidance of coach Sue Northey worked diligently through his high school years and has now emerged as a very competent middle distance runner.  Oliver placed 19th at the district championships held last week and fell just short of qualifying for the NCAA Division 2 National Championships.   At the conference meet held two weeks prior, Oliver was again the leader on the Clan team and was selected as the “freshman athlete of the year.” 

Once again, congratulations Oliver.

This coming Saturday Alex Siemens will travel with her Idaho Vandal teammates to Sacramento, California for the NCAA West Regional Championship.   Alex did not run as well as she would have hoped for 10 days ago at the conference championships but the Vandals did win the meet.  “I am more relaxed now and am looking forward to being a scoring member of the team in California,” stated Siemens.   During the season Alex has ranked as high as the third Idaho runner and she is looking forward to doing well in California.

Speaking of doing well, former Royal Allison Jackson was the leader of the Trinity Western Spartan team that placed fourth at the CIAU Championships held last Saturday in London, Ontario.   Allison placed fifth in the meet and led her Spartan teammates to a fourth place finish, well in front of the University of the University of Victoria team that placed eighth.

The moderator of the TV broadcast that filmed the meet live didn’t seem to know who Allison was and kept referring to her as a “runner from Trinity.”    That commentator will remember Allison from now on. 

Congratulations are in order for both Sarya Ross and Callum Pilgrim both of whom have been selected as members of the BC Athletics team that will take part in the Canadian CC Championships to be held at Jericho Beach Park on Saturday, November 30.  This is the first provincial team nomination for both girls and we wish both of them and the BC team good fortune at the Canadian meet.  

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.