The Vancouver Thunderbirds’ evident dedication to fall training paid off last weekend, capturing their third consecutive provincial team title. Over forty Thunderbird athletes competed at the 2018 Provincial Championships, hosted by BC Athletics on October 27th at Clearbrook Park in Abbotsford.
Leading the way for Thunderbirds, was 2016 Olympian, Luc Bruchet who covered the 8km course in 22:03 to win the Senior Men’s race. This was Luc’s fourth provincial senior title to date. When asked about his race, Luc explained Saturday as “a good hard effort to test the legs prior to Nationals in Kingston. It’s always good to test the fitness against the Province’s best, and see how the fall training has come along.” Luc will now move on to represent Team BC at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Kingston, Ontario on November 24th where he hopes to defend his National title from 2017, and earn a spot on Athletics Canada’s World XC Team.
Luc will be joined on Team BC by Thunderbird/UBC varsity athlete, John Gay who placed third (22:39), and BC Endurance teammate Theo Hunt, who was sixth in 22:42. UBC Varsity/Thunderbird athlete Tyler Dozzi placed 12th overall, and first amongst the Junior Men. He will also represent Team BC in Kingston. Christopher Taylor crossed in 23rd and 18 year old Callum Campbell was 63rd overall.
On the Senior Women’s side, the individual title went to 2016 Olympian, Natasha Wodak, who dominated the field, winning in 25:20. Top Thunderbird performers included Natalia Hawthorn, 7th (26:20); Sandra Kilmartin, 13th (27:00); Kirstin Lee, 15th (27:04); and Robyn Mildren, 17th (27:14). Mildren raced to a half marathon personal best just one week prior in Victoria, running 75:00 to cover the 21.6km course, and place second overall.
From our Intermediate Endurance squad, head coach Cindy Crowther noted a wide range of incredible performances:
“In the Midget girl’s race, Alexandra Campbell made a bold move heading into the second loop and took the lead. She felt the field was too bunched and decided to try to string it out,” explained Crowther. Campbell ended up 8th in the 3km course, clocking 11:06. Campbell was followed closely by teammates Nanette-Novak Flotz, 12th (11:23); Skye Higgins, 14th (11:27), and Lucille Shaw, 32nd (13:10).
On the Midget Boys side, Paul Van Raamsdonk placed 10th in 10:07. “Paul got himself into a good position from the start, and in usual Paul fashion bettered his position as the race progressed. He is a true distance runner, the further the better!” said Crowther. Teammate Reynaldo Miay also ran well, placing 31st (11:21).
The Youth Girls 4km saw Emily MacGowan as the top Thunderbird athlete, closing many gaps and finishing strong over the final kilometre to place 20th overall (14:44). MacGowan was followed by teammate Taylor Williams, 36th (17:10), and new Thunderbird athlete Olivia Uliana, 38th (18:29).
On the Youth Men’s side, Thunderbird Quinton Braziller closed out a fantastic final 600m, to place 27th in the 5km race (15:45).
Thunderbirds Junior Development runners finished the day retaining their team title by amassing a score of 42 points, outscoring Langley Mustangs and Ocean Athletics who scored 19 and 15 respectively. In doing so the JD’s extended their winning streak to three years. This was accomplished by every runner achieving their goal of getting to the finish line, knowing that they had done all that they could on the day to get their individual best performance. In some cases this resulted in a top six finish, beating someone they had not previously, or just pushing themselves harder than before. All should be commended.
The Hawkey twins: Francesco and Gianluca, took 1st and 3rd; a great result and a testament to the work they have put in over the past months. Not to be outdone, the girls: Laerke Petersen, Alice Barton, Emily Lints, and Macey Pearce packed in 7th, 9th, 13th and 14th respectfully.
Among the 10 year old boys, Harris Boomer, Roman Simmons, Elijah Clarke, Keenan Griffiths, and Szilard Puddiford dominated their event going 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th, with Taylor Dewitt earning valuable team points finishing 5th in the girls race.
Luc Primeau had his best race of the season finishing 2nd in the 11 year old boys race, followed closely by Miller Dabbs (5th), Griffin Cole (10th), Thomas Gibson (18th) and newbie, Camron Haime (22nd). For the 11 year old girls, Chloe Symon, Kate Logan, Gabby Barton, Emily Soobrian, and Willa-Marie Kriebel again rocked the competition packing in 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 16th places.
In the very competitive 12 year old races, Kai Martland picked up 7th place, ahead of teammates Toby Ford (15th) and Liam Dawes-Forster (18th), with Libby Dabbs taking 2nd followed by Nyla Tukker (6th) and Anna Kruk (9th) on the girl’s side.
In her final race as a JD, Maya Baechler toughed it out to finish second to lead the team-mates, Lauren Soobrian (5th) and Eva Kriebel (7th) home. In the equally tough boys race Brayden Horlock and Justin Verbanic both ran well to finish 8th and 11th respectively.
Overall, Vancouver Thunderbirds had an outstanding showing at the Provincial Championships. The JD athletes will now take a short break before commencing for indoor/winter training, while a number of our Junior and Senior athletes will look ahead to the Canadian Championships in Kingston, Ontario.