File photo. Track racing.

© Copyright – 2106 – Victoria Sports News

Oak Bay High School’s Tyler Dozzi became the 2016 BC High School Cross Country Champion, defeating favourite Thomas Nobbs of Vancouver and over 200 other competitors.

The race took place near Kelowna. The Okanagan Valley School District hosted the championships Saturday, November 5th at Kelowna’s Telemark Nordic Ski Club, which is situated at 1100-metres of elevation and approximately 30-kilometres west of downtown Kelowna. The course offered several hills on a 2.25K loop of grass, mud and chip trails.

British Columbia’s best middle-school and high-school runners showed up and raced hard for the large crowd that assembled under cloudy and cool conditions.

Over 840 runners from all corners of the province took in four races: junior boys and junior girls and senior boys and senior girls. All ran two laps for an approximate distance of 4.5K, except the senior boys who ran three laps and 6.7K.

In the junior girls race, Sarah Bryan of Oak Bay High School was the top Victoria athlete. She finished 10th overall and one-minute and nine seconds behind the winner, Mia Bennison of nearby Vernon.

There were 197 girls in the race, which started off the day’s activities at 10:00 AM.

Bennison representing Vernon Senior Secondary School bested a deep field. This was her third consecutive win in three weeks. She won the junior zone race that took place on the same course less than two weeks before. Bennison then took first at the BC Club Cross Country Championships that took place in Beban Park in Nanaimo last Saturday.

The junior boys race was dominated by Oak Bay High School, a perennially strong team in cross country and track. They were led by Joe Robertson who finished fifth out of 202 athletes. He was soon joined in the finish chute by teammate Findlay Day, the two finished in the time of 17:37 and 17:43, respectively. Michael Barber, Alex Lot and Jack Boden rounded out the scoring for the team.

The overall winner was Logan McDonald of Sardis Senior Secondary; he finished in the time of 17:09.

Other Victoria area athletes included Liam Dwyer from Mount Doug with teammates Kevin song, Matthew Geng, Brendan Mackey, Evan Guildford, Josh Lin and Ian Aitken.

The top senior girls runners from Greater Victoria include Desirae Ridenour from Cowichan Senior Secondary, who finished fifth overall. She is also known as a competitive triathlete, who can be found training in Victoria often. One position behind her is Justine Stecko of Oak Bay High School. They finished the race in 18:34 and 18:51, respectively.

Madison Heisterman of Brentwood College was close behind finishing in 18:54. Mount Doug’s Hannah Henry finished 13th overall. Cara Butler of Oak Bay acquitted herself well with a 33rd place finish.

In the senior boys race, Thomas Nobbs of Point Grey Academy in Vancouver was looking for redemption Saturday. The previous week in Nanaimo, he had a sub-par race according to his own standards and ended up jogging in dejected and well back in the field, in a race where he was expected to contend for the win.

He made that comeback in Kelowna, but found Tyler Dozzi of Oak Bay High School too tough to handle. Dozzi prevailed in convincing fashion.

Originally from Terrace, but now living in Victoria to focus on training under the guidance of two-time Olympian Bruce Deacon, Dozzi has made big strides. It was a needed move, if he wanted to improve, as the winter training in Terrace was tough and competition is far away, which was made no more poignant than by two high schools from Terrace that drove for 19 hours to compete in the event Saturday, an event that lasted just 2.5 hours.

“Everything that I have accomplished in running I owe to Bruce Deacon,” shared Dozzi, shortly after his impressive victory. He celebrated as such, clearly pleased with the win.

During the first lap of the three-lap race, there was a group of approximately a dozen runners who were packed tightly together. Nobbs wasn’t taking chances and sat back a little.

As the runners came through for the second lap, the crowd began to thin out, but Nobbs was still in contention and Dozzi was looking very relaxed.

Dozzi and Nobbs attacked during the final lap and Dozzi took a commanding lead and powered his way to the finish, clearly in control.

“Downhill is my strong point and that last part is downhill and flat and I just took advantage,” added Dozzi.

Dozzi and Nobbs will also be at the national event and looking for a spot on Team Canada.

Dozzi finished in 24:23, while Nobbs finished in 24:56 and Roberto Playo-Mezzone of St. George’s finished third in 25:06.

Kalum Delaney of Reynolds Senior Secondary was in the mix. He was expected to finish high and he did with an eighth place finish in the time of 25:37, one minute and 14 seconds off the lead.

Angus Brown of Shawnigan Lake ran well for 10th position, while Matthew Thompson finished one position and one second back of Brown. Vlad Lyesin of Oak Bay was not too far back at 26:23 and 17th position.

Other local finishers include Jack Stanley, Malcolm Harrison and Jack Stanley of Oak Bay High, as well as Matthew Thibodeau and Alexsei Sajkos of Mount Doug.

Full results with all of the Victoria area finishers can be found here:

Meet information is available at

Race footage and post-race interviews available at

National Cross Country Championships are taking place on Saturday, November 26th in Kingston. They will be streamed live by

Schedule is as follows

9:00 am U18 Girls 4k
9:30 am U18 Boys 6k
10:10 am Community Races 2.5k & 5k
10:15 am U18 Awards
10:45 am Masters 8k
12:00 pm U20 Women 6k
12:45 pm U20 Men 8k
1:30 pm Masters Awards
1:50 pm U20 Awards
2:30 pm Open (Senior) Women 10k
3:30 pm Open (Senior) Men 10k
4:30 pm Open (Senior) Awards


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