2017 BCSS Cross Country Championships

November 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News






Junior Girls’ Anna Maslechko, West Point Grey Madelyn Bonikowsky, South Delta Kate Stewart-Barnett, St Thomas More CI
Team Nanaimo District SS Lord Byng SS West Pooing Grey Academy
Junior Boys’ Matti Erickson, L V Rogers SS Keaton Heisterman, Brentwood Collegiate Judah Moar, Point Grey
Team Kitsilano Secondary School John Barsby Community School Walnut Grove Secondary School
Senior Girls’ Justine Stecko, Oak Bay HS Grace Fetherstonhaugh, New Westminister SS Ceili McCabe, Little Flower Academy
Team Oak Bay High School Sentinel Secondary School Revelstoke Secondary
Senior Boys’ Zach Wyatt, R. E. Mountain Tate Wyatt, R. E. Mountain Aidan Doherty, West Vancouver
Team Oak Bay High School R. E. Mountain SS Reynolds Secondary School
Boys’ Para Brandon Vanderluit, Lord Byng SS Ges Bushe, West Vancouver Aneil Kullar, Semiahmoo SS

Junior Girls: Nanaimo District Secondary School


Senior Boys and Girls Champions: Ècole Secondaire Oak Bay

Cross County Provincial Champions



The Nanaimo District Secondary School junior girls’ cross-country team won the provincial championship on Saturday in Vancouver. Pictured are Ava Alexander, left, Kai Belbin, Bailey Rossnagel, Kate Cameron, Kyra Gillette and Erin Jensen. (Submitted photo)

NDSS junior girls’ cross-country team runs to provincial title

Islanders runners accumulate 59 points and record an overall time of 1:18:55

Nanaimo District Secondary School’s junior girls’ cross-country team was crowned provincial champs in Vancouver this past weekend.

Grade 9 athletes Ava Alexander, Kai Belbin, Kate Cameron, Kyra Gillette, alongside Bailey Rossnagel (Grade 8), and Erin Jensen (Grade 10) bested second-place Lord Byng Secondary by 45 seconds and 29 points at the 4.6-kilometre championship in Jericho Beach Park on Saturday. NDSS had a total time of 1:18:55 and an average time of 19:43.

Bobbie Taylor, NDSS coach, said the four fastest runners are part of the scoring system and the next fastest can score to displace other runners in a tie situation.

“The goal was to come out with the lowest possible amount of points and we finished with 59 points and the second-place team [Lord Byng] came out with [88], so we had a really, really great race,” said Taylor.

Rossnagel was the fastest of the NDSS team (12th overall), with a time of 18:56, all the more impressive considering she was one of only two Grade 8 students competing in a field of 249 girls, said Taylor.

Jensen had a time of 19:47, Cameron 19:49, Gillette 20:23, Alexander 21:13 and Belbin, racing with a broken arm, had 22:14.

In addition to cross-country, said Taylor, the team is comprised of multi-disciplinary athletes and this was beneficial as the weather was less than ideal.

“I think that’s what made ours quite a unique team, that we’re trained in different areas and a lot of strengths [became an] advantage,” said Taylor. “Mental toughness … and given the conditions, they were below freezing and snowing, they really showed some great mental toughness along with their fitness, peaking at the right time.”

Taylor said the junior title bodes well for the NDSS senior team.

“Senior definitely is another level,” said Taylor. “There’s some very, very strong runners and Oak Bay absolutely dominated this year, but I think no matter what, we can compete and we’ll do the best that we can.”

Also at provincials, John Barsby Secondary School’s junior boys were runners-up at provincials, with Gage Zanette placing sixth and Ethan Hart seventh.

Dover Bay secondary school’s senior boys were fourth, led by Fraser Van Allen who was 10th overall. Dover’s senior girls came seventh.

Also, Nanaimo Track and Field Club athlete Madison Heisterman, representing Brentwood, came sixth in the senior girls’ race.



Cross-country: Double gold for Vancouver racers at ‘chaotic’ mud run

Kitsilano’s Annika Austin won the junior girls championship, Lord Byng’s Kieran Lumb the senior boys

 Megan Stewart / Vancouver Courier NOVEMBER 7, 2015 09:49 PM

What more could a racer ask for? ­­­

“It was very wet and muddy. It was very puddley. There was a big trench filed with ankle-deep water. It was fun,” said the B.C. junior girls cross-country champion from Kitsilano secondary, Annika Austin. “It was like the Tough Mudder.”

“Mud, rain, tough course, all that good stuff,” said Point Grey racer Thomson Harris. “It felt like proper cross country.”

The best high school racers in the province gathered Saturday morning at Jericho Beach Park as low clouds lashed sheets of water on the forested race course. Many athletes slipped and some fell as the soft, sodden grass turned muddier with each race until the fourth event of the day when the senior boys made three laps on the torn-up track. One racer from St. George’s was taken away in an ambulance after he went into shock at the finish line.


cross-country running
Senior boys splash along the sodden cross-country course during B.C. high school championship at Jericho Beach Park Nov. 7, 2015. Photo Rebecca Blissett

“The first lap especially was really chaotic,” said Point Grey racer Thomas Nobbs, who won bronze in a very competitive senior boys race. He leaped over another competitor who slipped and fell on the first 500 metres of the 6.9-kilometre course.

“I jumped over him, kind of clipped him. He got up and he was OK,” said Nobbs.

The fourth race of the day came down to the final five metres.

Kieran Lumb, who opted for longer, 13-milimetre spikes for the challenging conditions, made his move within sight of the finish line and churned past the two racers ahead of him. He won gold in 23 minutes, 47 seconds, passing national track and field team member Brendan Hoff to win by one second.

“I trained hard for this and raced even harder,” said Lumb, a cross-country skier and two-time city cross-country champion. “It feels really good.”

running cross-country lumb
Lord Byng’s Kieran Lumb crosses the finish line as the 2015 senior boys B.C. champion. Photo Rebecca Blissett

Three Vancouver racers finished in the top 10. In addition to the winner, Nobbs finished third in 23:51 and Harris came seventh in 24:42. Simeo Pont was 17th and Jules Verne secondary teammate Brodie Marshall was 31st. St. George’s racer Roberto Palayo-Mazzone was 18th.

Austin, who finished fifth at the club championships last month, won the 4.6-km junior girls race in 18:01.

“I just slowly started going faster after one lap and I didn’t know if [anyone] was catching me or not so I ran hard and just enjoyed the uphills because that’s what I train for,” said the Grade 10 student. “Then on the downhill, I relaxed and got my breath back a little bit. I wanted to come top three, that was my goal, and once you have the lead, you don’t want to give it up.”

Austin started training seriously last year and joined the Vancouver Thunderbirds after she was disappointed to not be selected for the outdoor education program, Trek.

cross-country running
Vernon secondary racer and senior girls champion Hannah Bennison is supported by a volunteer after crossing the finish line. Photo Rebecca Blissett

“I’m excited to get a medal. It makes me feel good and it shows that the hard work that I did paid off,” she said. “Me and my friend didn’t get in, but I just got really mad and instead of sitting around and pouting, I wanted to make sure that I worked for something. So I put my negative energy into something to have a positive outcome.”

Austin won by 20 seconds. Two Grade 8 racers finished in the top five: Lord Byng’s Bridgett Baziw ran a tremendous race to finish fourth in 18:34 and Van Tech standout Kendra Lewis came fifth in 18:36.

Hannah Bennison literally ran away with the senior girls race. The B.C. club champion from Vernon secondary won the 4.6-km race in 16:41, nearly one minute faster than the silver-medallist.

Jaxon Mackie from Surrey’s Earl Marriott secondary won the 5-km junior boys race in 17:41.

Splattered with mud and grass, heat streaming off their shoulders and arms, racers stood in puddles and used rainwater to wash dirt off their limbs and faces. Family and friends stood back, bundled and under umbrellas or taking photos of athlete’s matching head-to-toe dirt.

It wasn’t that long since the most elite competitors in the country ran on the same course, albeit frozen. On the day of the 2014 club nationals, it snowed at Jericho.

Despite the rain, on Saturday the weather wasn’t as cold.


Photos from the B.C. high school cross-country championship

running cross-country
Senior boys splash along the sodden cross-country course out of the start gate. Photo Rebecca Blissett


Point Grey’s Jonah Glover-Cook rounds a muddy bend during the B.C. high school junior boys cross-country championship.Photo Rebecca Blissett


A sodden and slippery course meant a few spills out of the gate, like this one during the senior girls championship. Photo Rebecca Blissett


Killarney secondary’s Kyra Danielson fights her way through the muck at Jericho Beach Park during the senior girls B.C. high school cross-country championship Nov. 7, 2015. Photo Rebecca Blissett


running cross-country
Two racers are supported after finishing the 4.6-kilometre senior girls race on a wet day at the beachside park. Photo Rebecca Blissett

B.C. High School Cross-Country Championships

By Chris Kelsall

B.C.-based high school athletes may feel they have an advantage over their fellow Canadians when it comes to the National Cross Country Championships taking place in Kingston, Ont. this Nov. 24. Vancouver was hit with unseasonably cool weather at the provincial cross-country championships on Saturday.

RELATED: Race videos and post-race interviews.

With temperatures hovering near 0 C, with wet snow, 993 high school athletes from all corners of the province went head-to-head.

Senior boys

In the senior boy’s race, which was three laps of a 2.3K loop at Jericho Beach, one of the country’s most notable cross-country sites, the Wyatt brothers, Zach and Tate, dictated the pace and ultimately the final outcome. Zach and Tate, who run for R.E. Mountain, finished 1-2, in that order, in 23:17 and 23:18 ahead of the 232 other competitors. In third was Aidan Doherty in a blanket finish as the top three were separated by two seconds.

Oak Bay won the senior boy’s team title with the top-four counting towards a final score, down from the top-five in previous years.

“The idea was to give the smaller schools a fighting chance,” said race director Colin Dignum of the number count towards a team score. “Actually, it seems like it is good for everyone, as the final points are tighter, making for better competition.”

“We wanted to control the pace early and we led throughout, however, I dropped back a little during the second lap,” Zach says. “I then wanted to sit in the pack for a while, before going for the win.”

“I am pretty happy with the result,” Tate says. “We had a tactical plan in advance and I think we executed it well.”

Asked which length of spikes the twins used, Zach said 9 mm, while Tate said 7 mm. The two chuckled at the notion that Tate finished second because his spikes were shorter. It may have to do with leading the whole way.

B.C. club youth champion Jack Amos was not permitted to compete because he did not reside in the province long enough ahead of the race after moving from the Yukon, according to Oak Bay News.

Senior girls

In the senior girl’s race, the highly anticipated duel in the snow between Oak Bay’s Justine Stecko and New Westminster’s Grace Fetherstonhaugh looked like it was on during the first lap of the two-lap race. Stecko pushed the pace to begin the final lap and into the hillier section of the course building up a sizeable gap by the finish. Fetherstonhaugh finished second in 17:23 behind Stecko’s 17:01.

Ceili McCabe of Little Flower Academy – an independent school located in Vancouver – was third in 17:25.

Stecko, who was concerned about her performance from last week at the B.C. Club Championships, said, “I think I was expecting too much of myself last week. Today I ran in control and waited for the second lap to start before pushing the pace.”

McCabe, a multi-sport athlete, had a soccer game on Saturday after the race. She also plays basketball. “I don’t run competitively, but I would like to join a club and get into the club scene and see how I do there,” she says.

Oak Bay School won the senior girl’s team race.

Junior boys

In the junior boy’s race, Matti Erickson finished first in an epic battle with another in the long line of talented Heistermans (Keaton) of Nanaimo. Erickson finished in 17:26, while Heisterman crossed the line in 17:35.

“I wasn’t going to race this year, but I am glad I did,” Heisterman says. “I am pretty happy with the result.”

Point Grey’s Judah Moar was third in 17:40. Kitsilano won the junior boy’s team battle.

Junior girls

Just two seconds separated Anna Maslechko of West Point Grey Academy, who finished the junior girl’s race in 18:00. In second was Madelyn Bonikowsky of South Delta. Kate Stewart-Barnett of St. Thomas More Collegiate finished third in 18:08.

Nanaimo District triumphed as the junior girl’s team winner.

Results can be found at Race Day Timing.

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