Oak Bay boys edge Reynolds for B.C. cross country title

Oak Bay girls drop to fifth but build for the future

Oak Bay High’s Liam Kennel

The boys of the Oak Bay High cross country team shot back at the Island champion Reynolds on Saturday by winning the provincial team title in Prince George.

Reynolds finished second in the team standings, a solid placing for the Saanich school. But the Oak Bay crew, led by captain Liam Kennel (Grade 11), who ran to third overall, wasn’t waiting for another chance.

“They worked hard for this championship and were pretty pleased to win,” said Oak Bay coach Tessa Logan.

“The Island’s been really strong the past few years, there’s lots of rivalries with Dover Bay for the boys and Reynolds this year. So this is a big win.”

Nothing can take the shine off Reynolds’ accomplishments as the gang of runners will always remember dethroning the powerful Oak Bay boys at the Oct. 24 Islands at Beaver Lake.

But the provincial meet is a big race, and Oak Bay is a team with big expectations.

“There’s a lot of pride and the team looks good going forward,” Logan said.

Key to Oak Bay’s success behind Kennel was the work of 15-year-old Taylor Chan, who was 27th overall and looks ready to challenge for a top-10 spot next year. Chan, Liam Farrar and Owen Sieffart all came in under 25 minutes. The youngest of the Oak Bay boys was 14-year-old Max McCulloch, in 99th overall, just over three minutes back of Kennel.

Surrey’s Tim Delcourt won the event in 22 minutes and 20 seconds. The top Islander was Oak Bay resident Ben Weir of Glenlyon Norfolk School, who finished second despite losing a shoe.

Seamus Maguire (Grade 12) led Reynolds in Prince George, finishing 10th, just ahead of teammate Eric Evans in 17th.

Things didn’t quite go the way the Oak Bay’s girls team had hoped. The reigning Island champions settled for fifth, getting beat out by Island rivals Nanaimo District secondary.

“It wasn’t quite what we expected for the girls but we’ve got some great young runners ready to step up on both the girls and boys teams,” Logan said. “It’s quite a different race for us, we had such a massive group, our whole team of about 50 runners at Islands. So when we beat (Nanaimo) at Islands, it was big.”

Likewise, the girls weren’t so keen on finishing one spot back of Nanaimo in the team standings in Prince George (Oak Bay was second in B.C. in 2011, Nanaimo third).

Elite middle distance runner Madelyn Brunt, still just 16-years-old, was the top Oak Bay runner, 14th overall. Mount Doug’s Caleigh Bachop led the South Island contingent, eighth overall, and Spectrum’s Brittany King was 10th.

The majority of the Oak Bay team will be back for track and field season in the spring, where Oak Bay dominates provincially.

Coach Logan is a former cross country and track and field competitor herself, a Lambrick Park grad who teaches at Oak Bay High and took lead of the Keith Butler-built cross country program last year. She started with vice principal Butler as an assistant coach three years ago and is also an assistant coach with the track and field team.

“With up to 60 runners showing up it’s a lot of delegating but this program takes care of itself and is great to work with, it’s so much fun,” she said.

Brunt, Bachop and King, will compete at the cross country club provincials in Vancouver, Nov. 24. So will Kennel, Weir and Mount Doug’s Thomas Getty.

Just Posted

Single parent resource centre continues operations in partially-condemned building

Victoria’s 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre moves back into heritage home

Townhouses on the rise in popularity in Greater Victoria

A report finds 152 townhouse units in the construction pipeline and coming onto market in 2020.

Annual Oak Bay Collector Car Festival expects 15,000 spectators

July 28 show features a pair of super cars that won prestigious awards at the Detroit Autorama show

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read