Natasha Wodak, shown here winning the Pioneer 8K in North Saanich in January, is one of the top Canadians competing in the Pan Am Cross Country Cup on Feb. 29 at Bear Mountain. (Photo by Joseph Camill)

Natasha Wodak, shown here winning the Pioneer 8K in North Saanich in January, is one of the top Canadians competing in the Pan Am Cross Country Cup on Feb. 29 at Bear Mountain. (Photo by Joseph Camill)

Canada’s best ready to take a run at Bear Mountain

2020 Pan American Cross Country Cup will be held Feb. 29 at Langford resort

Topflight competitors from Canada are gearing up to compete against a top-notch international field in the 2020 Pan American Cross Country Cup.

More than 120 athletes from Canada, Brazil, the U.S., Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago are set to participate. This marks the first time the event, which gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa, will be held in Canada.

ALSO READ: Canada names 24 athletes to compete for 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Genevieve Lalonde, fresh off her second straight national cross country win in Abbotsford in December, is looking forward to the opportunity to represent her country.

“I’m very excited to be representing the Canadian team once again,” Lalonde said in a media release. The native of Moncton, N.B. broke her own Canadian record in the 3,000m steeplechase last year in Shanghai “We had so much fun last year at world championships and I think this is a great opportunity for the team to test their skills on Canadian soil. I know the City of Victoria is excited to be hosting the event and it is such a lovely place. It will be great to have the cross country held there.”

Lalonde said she’s hoping there’s snow in the forecast to make it a truly Canadian experience. “I think it’s an excellent event to use in preparation for the Olympic season ahead. Steeplechase is like cross country on the track, so it will be good to test my abilities on the cross country course,” she noted.

Other top Canadians in the senior women’s race include Maria Bernard-Galea from Calgary, who represented Canada in the 2016 Olympic Games and more recently at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

Natasha Wodak, who trains in North Vancouver, won a gold medal and set a new record in the 10k at the Pan American Games in Peru last year.

Top men in the senior event include John Gay from Kelowna, B.C., Connor Black from Forest, Ont., and Jean-Simon Desgagnes from Quebec City. Gay qualified for his first world championships last year, Black placed third in the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships, while Desgagnes finished seventh in the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships.

Sadie Siffstead from Edmonton, who won silver last year at the Canadian Cross Country Championship in 2019, will compete in the Junior Women’s event. Kevin Robertson from Ottawa, Ont., is the Canadian national champion in the 3,000 m steeplechase.

ALSO READ: Vikes coach joining Team Canada at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

The Pan Am Cross Country Cup, an Association of Pan American Athletics championship, is held every second year. The event draws competitors from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean in a competition between national teams in men’s and women’s junior and senior races. El Salvador hosted the event in 2018.

Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert said having the event on home soil is a remarkable opportunity for the athletes to compete against the best competition in the Americas in front of friends and family.

It is a good test for our athletes to demonstrate performance on demand, right here at home,” he said.

For more information, visit facebook.com/athleticscanada.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

Patrick MacMullan won $28,000 playing Toto. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Greater Victoria man wins $28,000 while watching football

Winning ticket purchased at Colwood convenience store

(File - Sooke News Mirror)
Man exposes himself to woman, children on Sooke trail

Suspect believed to be between 55 and 65 years of age

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open to Jan. 15

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read