High School XC season heats up at Fall Classic

Fall Classic Invitational Meet & BC High School Cross Country Championships

High school cross country season kicks into high gear on Tuesday, Oct. 14, the first of three meets that culminate in the BC High School Cross Country Championships on Nov. 1 on the grounds of the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre.

The Invitational “Fall Classic” will see approximately 300 athletes from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island competing in four separate races over the same course, at West Shore Parks and Recreation complex, that is to be used for the B.C. Championships.

On the boys’ side, the three podium finishing teams at the 2013 Provincial Championships – Dover Bay (Nanaimo), Oak Bay and Reynolds will all be testing out the course under competitive conditions and seeing how they stack up against each other as well as other teams.

“Right now it appears as though Dover Bay senior boys’ team is the favourite to win the Fall Classic and to take home the Provincial trophy as well,” said Al Niezen, meet director.

“All of their top runners including Thomas and Peter Oxland are returning to the cross country stage in 2014 and will pose a significant challenge.”

On the girls’ side, the top three teams from the 2013 Vancouver Island Cross Country Championships – Oak Bay, Nanaimo secondary and Mount Douglas secondary – will be toeing the line at the Fall Classic in anticipation of this year’s Provincial Championships.

Some of the runners to watch for are Brendan Hoff of Reynolds, and exceptional Grade 10 athletes Desirae Ridenour of Francis Kelsey and Hannah Henry of Mount Doug.

The pinnacle of high school cross country is the B.C. High School Cross Country Championships, Nov. 1.

It is expected that over 900 athletes will attend, with their coaches, from all corners of B.C. as well as 500 spectators and 100 volunteers. These athletes are “at the top of their game.”  To qualify for Provincials, athletes must meet qualifying criteria through their respective zone meets. The zone meet for the Island is the Vancouver Island Cross Country Championships to be held October 22, 2014 at Beaver Lake Park.

The starting gun goes off for the first of four races at noon, Oct. 14 for the Fall Classic.