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The Prairie Inn Harriers running club is putting on the 38th annual Harrier’s Pioneer 8K at Saanich Fairgrounds Sunday, Jan 8. In the race are several Olympians. One of them is Coach Bruce Deacon, who twice made a grasp for the five rings.
Currently, he trains the Prairie Inn Harriers Youth Team, a high performance training group that is supported by the 800-member club and managed and coached by Deacon.
“The kids are fit right now, however, it is early in the season. This is an excellent race to get a look at where their fitness is at now,” shared Deacon.
The PIHYT will be fielding several of Canada’s fastest junior athletes including Justine Stecko, Tyler Dozzi, Angus Brown, Kalum Delaney and Liam Stanley. All finished top-10 at the 2016 BC High School Cross Country Championships.
Stanley earned a silver medal at the Rio Paralympic Games in the 1500-metre distance. He competes in the T37 category, but will be very competitive in his age group overall Sunday.
Dozzi is originally from Terrace. He moved to Victoria at age 15 for the opportunity to train under the direction of Deacon, while being able to run outdoors 12 months of the year. The plan has worked out well for him, as he ran a string of cross-country victories this fall including the provincial and national club championships as well as the island and provincial high school championships.
Justine Stecko is one of the top runners in Canada and has a bright future. The Oak Bay High School student finished six overall against a stacked field, which included the likes of national champions Hannah Bennison of Vernon and the Sevsek sisters of Surrey. Kelowna’s Taryn O’Neill was also a top finisher. These are names that should be at the forefront of Canada’s running future, Stecko is no exception.
Kalum Delaney finished eighth overall at provincials. The Reynolds Roadrunner finished just 14 seconds behind Dozzi, while Shawnigan Lake’s Angus Brown finished two positions back of Delaney in a highly competitive race.
Sunday’s 8K should provide exciting racing action. The PIHYT athletes can easily be spotted as they wear the club kit which features the horizontal stripes of the old English harrier clubs.
Gun time is scheduled for 11:00 am.
Details can be found here>>