Left to right: Ally Ginther, Sara Inglis, Lindsay Carson and Daylana Ferguson.

© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent, I am just passionately curious.”

There was some talent at the 2019 BC Cross Country Championships on Saturday, yet some athletes were noticeably missing. But those who showed up had to be passionately curious about their ability to dig deep, as there were gaps at the front of each race – staying focussed would prove to be a curious challenge.

The meet was missing a few bodies because of delays at the BC Ferry terminal due to wind, as well as a scheduling snafu. It appears that USport and BC Athletics failed to communicate in advance about their schedules, so while the club championships were going on in sunny Saanich, so were the Canada West Championships in snowy Calgary.

The Fall Classic Half Marathon was on in Vancouver as well. Anyone left stranded at the ferry terminal could run that race, which featured a handful of competitive BC runners.

Greater Vancouver area clubs that did show up to Beaver Lake Park dominated including the Langley Mustangs, Coastal Track Club and Ocean Athletics.

Sara Inglis led the women’s senior race from gun to tape. Teammates Lindsay Carson and Ally Ginther finished second and third for the podium sweep.

Inglis finished the 8K course in the time of 27:21, Carson crossed the finish line in 28:46, while Ginther was just eight seconds back of Carson.

Asked if there was difficulty pushing the effort between the top-five runners, Inglis told Athletics Illustrated, “I just wanted to have a good effort and go hard when it felt good. After two laps I was thinking that this is getting tough, but I managed to keep the lead, then extend it in the last lap. I finished feeling good, so I am happy with that.”

As for Ginther, “I was trying to keep close to Lindsay and to see if I could bridge that gap. I didn’t, but, I was just trying to keep a consistent pace throughout.”

Carson, Inglis and Daylana Ferguson, who finished second in the U20 race, all stayed at Ginther’s place and woke up at 5:00 am, to make sure that they could make the meet in time.

Many of the athletes competing at the meet will also be racing the national cross-country championships in Abbotsford on Nov. 30.

The first master was Jen Millar of Victoria who crossed the line in the time of 30:39. On course as usual was husband Trevor with kids in tow.

Jaiveer Tiwana with Coastal Track Club won the 5K U18 race. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

In the men’s senior race, Surrey’s Nathan Wadhwani won by heading to the front of the lead pack early. He waited patiently and then took a commanding lead during the final lap.

What worked for Wadhwani was not using spikes. “Yeah, we jogged the course earlier and considering how much gravel there is, I removed the spikes and just went flat and that worked for me. I was able to run the downhills well like that.”

Wadhwani competed for the Washington State University Cougars and has now returned home to train with the Mustangs under Coach Mark Bomba.

“We have a great group there with quite a few competitive runners, especially with the women,” said Wadhwani. The Wadhwanis are a running family, he has two brothers and a sister who also run and Vid, their father was on-site photographing the race.

Braeden Charlton was well gapped but had finished a good distance ahead of Caleb De Jong. The three athletes finished 24:55, 25:09 and 25:22, respectively.

“It was close until the final lap,” said Wadhwani. “At the one turn late in the lap, I could see how far ahead I was and pushed the pace hard after that. I am pleased with the result.”

Charlton was representing the Vancouver Thunderbirds; De Jong the Mustangs.

“I was hoping for top-five, so getting second was probably about right considering that some people were missing from the race,” said Charlton. “I am looking forward to racing nationals in Abbotsford in a few weeks.”

The first over-40 master was Victoria’s Craig Odermatt, however, the first master – age 35-plus – a controversial age categorisation – was Victoria’s Andrew Russell age 37 followed by fellow 37-year-old Aaron Holmgren and the third-place finisher Sean Chester (35). All four were representing the host Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club.

The first U-20 female, running 6K, was Coastal Track Club’s Haley Ribeiro. She was followed in by Daylana Ferguson with the Mustangs and Sarah Bryan who is with the Harriers. The three finished in 24:30, 24:49 and 25:55, respectively.

Eighteen-year-old Jonah Brost with the Harriers took the men’s U20 race in the time of 26:58, while Callum Campbell of Vancouver Thunderbirds finished second at 28:41. The third-place finisher was 18-year-old Quincy Kuzyk at 29:35.

Coastal Track Club also took the men’s U18 win with Jaiveer Tiwana taking the 5K course in 15:47. Dylan Uhrich and Jeremiah Mackie finished second and third at 16:00 and 16:07, respectively.

As soon as Tiwana crossed the finish line he ran across the infield to embrace Coach Scott Kent.

“This is what I have been working towards. When I joined the club in Grade 9, I struggled and didn’t make the provincial team, but Scott has coached me all this time and I am grateful for all that he has done for me,” said Tiwana.

The BC High School Cross Country Championships will be happening Saturday, Nov. 2 in Abbotsford, while the national club championships, Nov. 30 and the Pan Am Cross Country Cup on Feb. 29 at Bear Mountain Resort.

Full results are available here>>

Shoestrings: Kenyan Jonathan Chesoo won the fall classic in exactly 68-minutes. Vancouver’s Blair Morgan finished second in exactly 69-minutes, according to the online results.

First master and third-place finisher was Jeremiah Ziak in 72:15.

The first three women were Heather Gallagher, Debora Davidson and Julia Menzies in 88:47, 89:05 and 89:43, respectively. Gallagher not only won the race, she was the first master.

Full results are available here>>