Oct 18, 2012 / 3:27 pm
With both the UBC Okanagan Heat men's and women's Cross Country teams ranked in the top 10 by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), they travelled to Seattle, Washington to compete in NCAA Division I Seattle University’s Emerald City Open at the Lower Woodland Park.
“This was a great opportunity for our teams to race against some tougher competition. In order to be successful at Nationals, our athletes need to raise the bar and learn to compete,” says Head Coach Nikki Reiter.
The Heat women, currently ranked third by the CCAA, placed fourth out of six teams on the six kilometre course.
Rookie standout Michelle Blackburne had the squad's best time, finishing in 24:33, good for 25th.
Shayla Millan was just under a minute later, finishing 37th with a time of 25:30. Rookie Alea Stockton was 38th, just three seconds behind.
Kelsey Robson (41st; 25:52), Ashley Yip (42nd; 25:54) and Trisha Metro (47th; 26:16) all contributed to the fourth place finish.
“Seattle was tough, the competition and terrain was the hardest we've faced so far this season but it provided us a great opportunity to learn how far we need to push ourselves this year,” says Yip. “We benefited from the challenge.”
The women will get in two more weeks of tough training before participating in the BC Athletics Provincial Championships on October 27th in Abbotsford.
An abbreviated men’s team, ranked tenth by the CCAA, finished well back of the leaders in the eight kilometre race.
Garrett Anstett (54th; 29:41) had the best finish for the Heat, followed by Carlos Capela (56th; 29:43), Layne Richardson (57th; 29:58) and Jared Kesteven (61st; 30:42).
"We faced some tough competition and a tough course, but performed well individually in our own respect,” says Anstett. He added that some of the top runners in the race rank in the top 25 of the NCAA.
“I'm looking forward to racing in Canada and gauging our times against our CCAA competition."
The 2012 CCAA Cross Country Running National Championships will be hosted by Champlain College - St. Lambert in St. Lambert, Que. on Saturday, November 10.
The men will be back home this weekend as they attempt to better Thompson Rivers University and the Okanagan’s best trail runners at the Larry Nicholas Memorial Run at Mission Creek Regional Park in Kelowna.
The nine kilometre race will start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21.
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