Runners from across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland head out from the start box in the junior boys division of the 2014 Fall Classic cross country race at West Shore Parks and Recreation. The race is part one of three invitational events leading up to the B.C. high school championships back at this site on Nov. 1. West Shore runners and others from Island schools can qualify for the provincials at the zone finals Oct. 22 at Beaver Lake Park.

Runners tackle rugged route in Colwood

First high school cross-country race rolls over hills and dales at Juan de Fuca Recreation

Runners from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland climbed up and down around the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre lands in the 2014 Fall Classic Cross Country race Tuesday.

The invitational event was part of the relatively short high school cross country running season. Island runners gear for the zone championships Oct. 22 at Beaver Lake and can qualify there for the provincials, scheduled for Nov. 1 back at West Shore Parks and Recreation.

Belmont’s Evan Szabo finished 19th among 66 in the senior boys division, clocking 25 minutes, 10 seconds over six kilometres.

In the 5K senior girls race, Elena Lopez was the top Belmont finisher, winding up 29th in a field of 53 with a time of 21:30.

Other teammates’ finishes were Zoe Lun, 39th (23:05); Angela Zhuo, 43rd (23:47); Niki Lam, 47th (24:38) and Shayla Ross, 48th (25:16).

In the 5K junior boys event, Belmont teammate Mitchell Coulombe finished 39th out of 70 with a time of 23:05, while Jessica Coulombe was 27th in junior girls (4.2 km) in 21:50.

Race winners included Jack Stanley of Oak Bay in junior boys (18:29), Justine Stecko of Oak Bay in junior girls (17:24), Nickolas Colyn of Langley Christian in senior boys (21:13) and Madison Heisterman of Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan  in senior girls (15:46).

editor@goldstreamgazette.com