The University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s cross country teams had a strong performance at the Oct. 27 B.C. Cross Country Championship hosted in Abbotsford, B.C. The provincial championship hosted at Clearbrook Park was hosted by Valley Royals Track and Field Club and had races for junior, senior and masters divisions.
On the women’s side Georgia Ginther finished second in the junior women’s category finishing the 6-km race in 20:57. First-year Victoria native Bridget Mateyko wasn’t far behind finishing fourth in 22:17. Ginther, Mateyko and junior men’s Top-5 finisher Gabe Van Hezewijk were the three Vikes selected to represent B.C. at the club-based National Championship later November.
“I felt great today and I am looking forward to U SPORTS nationals in two weeks,” said Ginther, a second year from Surrey, B.C.. “Making the B.C. team was my goal and I am excited to be racing club nationals also in Kingston in a month.”
Mateyko, one of several Vikes men racing in the 8-km event, was fourth in the junior men’s category and 36th overall after finishing in a time of 24:26.
Josh Kozelj was the top Vikes men’s finisher, placing 15th overall in 23:13. The Vikes were all close together in the men’s race as five Vikes finished from 17th to 21st place and in order they were Jonny Toombs, Chet Goerzen, Alex Nemethy, Ben Weir and Derrick Evans.
“I was thrilled with how the team finished today,” said Kozelj after the race. “It was so awesome to see my teammates come in one after another at the line and it just shows how great our team spread and depth is. All year we have been preaching depth and running as a team and we perfectly executed that today. I was also ecstatic with my own personal performance and I’m excited for the next two weeks going into U SPORTS nationals.”
On the senior women’s side Alison Irvine continued to show her strength for the Vikes finishing 9thoverall, while fellow Vike Chloe Hegland was not far behind finishing 11th overall. Irvine raced a time of 26:36, while Hegland was 26:47. Ahead of Irvine and Hegland were a talented pack of senior women that included Natasha Wodak, Sarah Inglis, Regan Yee and Lindsay Carson.
“Today we executed the races just as we had hoped,” added Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “This gives us the confidence we need going into U SPORTS in two weeks.”
The pinnacle of the cross country season is around the corner as the U SPORTS National Championship is booked for Nov. 10 in Kingston, Ont., hosted by Queen’s University.
2018 BC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
MEN 8KM (RESULTS)
15th – Josh Kozelj (23:13)
17th – Jonny Toombs (23:14)
18th – Chet Goerzen (23:20)
19th – Alex Nemethy (23:22)
20th – Ben Weir (23:25)
21st – Derrick Evans (23:25)
33rd – Mitchell Basher (23:58)
36th – Gabe Van Hezewijk (24:26)
48th – Owen Wright (25:13)
55th – Derrick Ushko (25:57)