Two area athletes were among the 280 students who were in Kelowna on Sunday for the B.C. high school cross-country championships.
The course was extremely difficult this year, with lots of steep climbs and long, grinding descents. This was compounded by very cold temperatures, frozen ground, and icy and snowy sections in the course.
To attend provincials, athletes must qualify in a zone championships race. In the Vancouver Island zone, qualification goes to the top 20 athletes. With a total field of roughly 250 runners and many talented runners hoping to make the grade, this makes even qualifying for provincials extremely competitive.
Two local athletes competed in provincials this year: Adam Commandeur of Highland Secondary School in Comox and Haven Ullstrom of Timberline Secondary School in Campbell River. Adam’s twin brother Scott also qualified for provincials but was unable to attend due to injury.
The Island was very well represented with two of the top three finishers coming from Vancouver Island. The overall winner was Lehm Magiure (Claremont) in 23:36, followed by Christian Gravel (St. George’s) and Joel Deschiffart (Nanaimo Christian).
Both of the local athletes raced extremely well in a very competitive field. Ullstrom finished 33rd in a time of 25:35 and Commandur finished just behind him in 25:55, which earned him 51st place.
Both boys are hungry to be competitive once again at the 2012 B.C. championships, which will be held in Prince George.