Gators, Eagles third at BC championships

Walnut Grove junior girls, senior boys both win bronze at provincial cross-country championships in Kelowna

The Mountain Eagles finished third at the BC cross-country provincial championships in the senior boys division.

Two local high schools returned home with the bronze medals in their respective team categories at the BC cross-country provincial championships.

The Walnut Grove Gators captured the bronze medal in the junior girls division while the R.E. Mountain Eagles took third in the senior boys division.

The team of Grace Chalk, Kelsey Stelnicki, Sarah Buckingham, Emma Rolfson, Holly Harrison and Prabhasha Wickrmaarachichi teamed up to finish for the Gators.

The race was held on Saturday on the Telemark course on a near-perfect day for trail running in West Kelowna.

Walnut Grove finished with 95 aggreggate points while Lord Byng (37 points) and Salmon Arm (73) took the top two spots.

The Gators finished with an average time of 21:42.86 and a total time for their top four finishers of 1:26:51.45.

The Eagles ended up with 75 aggregate points, just one point shy of second place Reynolds from Victoria.

Provincial champion Oak Bay (Victoria) finished well clear of the pack, with 42 points, led by individual gold medallist Tyler Dozzi.

The Eagles’ bronze medal result was a true team effort, led by top 20 finishers Tate Wyatt (12th), Jordan Schmidt (16th), and Zach Wyatt (18th). Felix Allen (79th) rounded out the list of R.E. Mountain point-scoring runners.

Also competing for R.E. Mountain at the provincials – and displacing other schools’ runners – was Danny Lee and Praveen Sivikumar.

“They did amazingly well,” Eagles coach Debbie McKinnon said. “They are four Grade 11s, one Grade 12, and one Grade 9 (Allen) who we pulled up to run with the senior team and he did just stellar.”

McKinnon said the Eagles won the junior boys provincial banner last year so they went into this year’s race with high expectations.

“We are really, really happy with the bronze,” McKinnon said. “We are absolutely setting our sights on next year. They are already thinking about track and looking at next year for that banner, They’re hungry.”

Walnut Grove’s senior boys were sixth in the team competition and the senior girls were 18th.

Top individual Langley finishers were:

Leah Bakker (Langley Christian), junior girls, 12th overall in 20.35.

Wyatt Tate (Mountain) senior boys, 12th overall in 25:59.

Louise Forsyth (Brookswood) senior girls, 18th overall in 19:58.

Jared Dehaan (Credo Christian) junior boys, 88th overall in 19:40.

submitted photo

The Walnut Grove junior girls pose with the Subway mascot at the BC high school cross-country championships in West Kelowna. The Gators finished third.