The BC HS Cross country championships provided an interesting challenge to the Thunderbirds up and coming young athletes this past weekend at the Beaver Lake course in Victoria. This was a very demanding and technical course that featured a tough down hill, a mentally challenging uphill and tough areas for runners to gain ground on the rest of the field. Running for their respective high schools, the Thunderbird runners were in most cases, counted on as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd runner on their team while still having one or more years of eligibility remaining.

In the girls division, over 250 runners lined up at the 49 gates along the starting line to contest the 4.6 km course. Kat Digby led the women Thunderbird runners with a 6th place showing, followed by Erin Potter in 22nd, Kansas McKenzie in 39th, Peggy Noel in 40th, and Rhiannon Evans in 56th. Less than a minute separated them from Grace Ling in 86th, Monica Marpole-Bird in 90th, Noa Rippel in 101st, Carmanah McKenzie in 126th, Paige Harrison in 163rd, and Stephanie MacDougall.

In the boys division, the spectators were treated to a great duel between Luc Bruchet (Elgin Park) and James Clark (Thomas Haney). Bruchet out kicked Clark over the last 200m to top the field of 270 runners on the 6.7 km course. Thunderbirds James Barnes ran a very strong race and was just a minute back to finish in 13th place. This was followed by strong performances from Will Cliff in 33rd and from newcomer Braden Neufeld who placed 60th. Next up was Sam Gilsig who finished 79th, followed by Canon Wong in 135th, Jeremy Yen-Chiu in 137th, Gaelan Moore in 162nd, Danny Taylor in 174th, Sam Hogg in 177th and David Phillips in 191st.

Thunderbird advances to NAIA championships

Also on November 3rd, Meredith Briggs advanced to the national NAIA championships in Kenosha, Wisconsin on November 17th as part of the 2nd place UBC team. Meredith placed 26th in a field of 125 runners at the regional NAIA championship in Olympia.