Cross country: Winter outsprints Wiebe to take 10k title

He’d finished third, then fourth, then second.

And on a chilly, sunny Saturday at Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver’s Chris Winter finally won his first Canadian Cross Country Championship in his back yard.

It was the last year of a four-year run for the nationals at Jericho, and the event packed up for Kingston, Ont., in fine style.

Winter out-kicked his good friend Kelly Wiebe in a thrilling finish to the men’s 10k. Winter won in 32 minutes and 17 seconds, four seconds ahead of Wiebe, who’d tried to pull away for good with about one kilometre to go.

Read the full article here

Photograph by: Manto Nakamura
Photograph by: Manto Nakamura

Cross country couple aim for wins in own backyard

Photograph by: Ric Ernst , PROVINCE
Photograph by: Ric Ernst , PROVINCE

Chris Winter and Rachel Cliff have unfinished business before the Canadian Cross Country Championships pack up and move to Kingston, Ont.

The Vancouver running couple and aspiring Rio Olympians finished second in the men’s 10k and women’s 7k at Jericho Beach Park last year.

Neither has won a national cross country title — Winter was third in 2011; they were both fourth in 2012 — and this could be their last chance to win in their backyard.

Read the full article online here.

Taylor Milne gets his redemption at Inferno

GUELPH – Taylor Milne got his redemption on the Alumni Stadium track Saturday night.

“It felt a lot better than last year and I still think there’s a lot left in the tank,” he said after winner the New Balance men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase, the featured and final event of the Speed River Inferno Track and Field Meet Presented by New Balance.

A year after falling hard at the water jump on the final lap of the steeplechase, Milne withstood a couple of stumbles for this year’s victory.

“It wasn’t that much better,” Milne said of his jumps at the water jump. “I didn’t do a great one on the last one, but I was like I didn’t care if I stopped completely, if I landed on my feet I was going to have a good time. I kind of two-footed it, stopped my momentum, gave a little Hallelujah and then finished pretty well.”

Milne led a sweep of the top three positions by The River, the meet hosts, as he finished in eight minutes, 27.81 seconds while Chris Winter was second at 8:31.25 and Olympian Alex Genest third at 8:34.71.

If not for the stumbles, Milne might have achieved the Commonwealth Games A standard qualifying mark. He had already bettered the B mark and improved on that time by about three and a half seconds, but missed the A standard by 1.81 seconds.

Runner-up Winter threw put his name in contention for a spot on Canada’s Commonwealth Games team with his time which was three-quarters of a second faster than the B standard.

“That was harder than I expected,” he said minutes after the race. “That’s sometimes the case. Coming through with three laps to go, I could feel the line between me and Taylor and the guys breaking a little bit, but I just said ‘Keep going, keep going. You’ve got to run this thing to the end to find out.’ Even with three laps to go, I was hurting pretty bad and I knew I had a good pain face on.”

The Canadian track and field team for the Commonwealth Games is expected to be named this week.

“I’m in the pool now for Commonwealth Games which is an amazing goal for me this year,” he said. “I went through a lot in the winter and just being healthy and fit and being able to toe the line here today and give my best was amazing. To be able to get that time is awesome.”

Winter had a health scare in the winter which resulted in him being hospitalized in Vancouver. It turned out that his heart would skip a beat every now and then and he’s been learning how to deal with that and still compete at a high level.

For third-place finisher Genest, just making it to the end of the race was a bit of victory in a trying season.

“I finished, which is better than any other race this season,” he said. “Not enough, but what can I do. I’m going to have to refocus for the summer.”

Genest had been plagued with injury problems earlier in the year, forcing him to pull out of every other race he started. Finishing the Inferno was also a bit of redemption for him as he retired from last year’s steeplechase after the second lap and only one trip through the water jump.

“I have mixed feeling right now,” he said after the race. “I thought if I came away with an 8:35, I’d be happy, but now I’m not happy because it was so close.”

Genest fell too far behind during the middle stages of the race to recover. He was as low as sixth in the field of 15.

Jessica Furlan of Victoria set a national record in the women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase run immediately before the men’s steeplechase.

“To be honest, I was going more for the standard time and the national record would come with it,” Furlan said.

She lowered the Canadian record to 9:48.89, chopping 2.21 seconds off the previous mark set by Carol Henry in a meet at Baton Rouge, La., almost exactly 12 years ago. However, Furlan failed to meet the Commonwealth Games B standard by less than a second. That standard was 9:48.00.

“It’s bittersweet,” she said. “It’s exciting to get the national record, but I kind of knew somebody was going to hit it this year. I’m glad to be the first one to get it, but I think it’s going to be knocked down quite a bit by myself and a couple of other girls this season.”

One of those ‘other girls’ might be Genevieve Lalonde of The River, the national record holder in the women’s 2,000-metre steeplechase. She finished second at the Inferno in 9:53.96.

While Milne drew inspiration from that race, he was also motivated by the performance of his girlfriend Rachel Aubry who was less than a second off setting a personal best in winning a close women’s 800 metres.

The top three in that race were separated by just over a third of a second. Aubry won in 2:02.60 while fellow Canadian Kate Van Buskirk was second in 2:02.62 and Lauren Hagans of the U.S. was third in 2:02.97.

Other winners in the main meet were Patricia Sylvester of Grenada in women’s long jump, Winston George of Guyana in men’s 200m, Jordin Andrade of the U.S. in men’s 400-metre hurdles, Riley Northrup of the U.S. in men’s high jump, Ryan Martin of the U.S. in men’s 800m, Brendan Gregg of the U.S. in men’s 5,000 metres and Canadians Noelle Montcalm in women’s 400m hurdles, Cha Philibert-Thiboutot in men’s 1,500m, Ian Reid in masters men’s 1,500m, Nicole Sassine in women’s 200m and Rachel Hannah in women’s 5,000m.

Winners in the pre-meet were Marissa Kurtimah of Guelph in women’s 200m, Leonae Nichol in men’s 200m, Madeleine Kelly in women’s 800m, Ethan Davenport in men’s 800m, Rebecca Pieterson in women’s 1,500m and Connor Darlington in men’s 1,500m.


Four Olympians entered in Speed River Inferno

Four Olympians entered in Speed River Inferno

GUELPH — Four Olympians are among the entrants for the Speed River Inferno Track and Field Meet Presented by New Balance that is set for May 31 at Alumni Stadium.

In all, more than 75 athletes representing eight countries have confirmed their entries.

The four Olympians are steeplechasers Alex Genest and Taylor Milne of the host Speed River Track and Field Club, men’s 200-metre sprinter Winston George of Guyana and men’s 800-metre runner Julius Mutekanga of Uganda.

Genest ran in the men’s steeplechase at the London Olympics in 2012 while Milne competed in the men’s 1,500 metres in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

George competed in the men’s 400 metres at the London Olympics and was the flag-bearer for his country in opening ceremony while Mutekanga ran in the men’s 800 metres at the London Olympics.

Confirmed male international athletes include Kevin Thompson of Jamaica in the 200 metres; Sean Atkinson of the U.S. in the 400-metre hurdles; Lucas Manring of the U.S. in the 800 metres; Lamont Marshall of Bermuda in the 1,500 metres; Sean Keveren of the U.S. in the 5,000 metres; and Riley Northrup of the U.S. in the high jump.

International female athletes who have confirmed their entries are Ashley Kelly of the British Virgin Islands and Sharay Hale of the U.S. in the 200 metres; Lorain McKenzie of Jamaica and the U.S. trio of Stephanie Herrick, Lauren Hagans and Natalie Picchetti in the 800 metres; Sarah Madebach of the U.S., Danielle Burke of the U.S. and Rachel Felton of the United Kingdom in the 5,000 metres; and U.S. long jumpers Anita Rogers and Nyeisha Wright.

Genest and Milne will be joined in the men’s steeplechase by teammate Chris Winter.

Anthony Romaniw of Speed River’s Olympic division is to compete in the men’s 800 metres along with Mathieu Sturkenboom and Scott Leitch.

Other members of Speed River’s Olympic division entered in the meet are Rachel Aubry, Chantelle Groenewoud, Genevieve Lalonde and Andrea Seccafien.

Aubry and Katelyn Ayers of the Guelph Gryphons are entered in the women’s 800 metres while Groenewoud and Lalonde are in the women’s steeplechase along with Julie-Anne Staehli.

Seccafien is to run in the women’s 5,000 metres along with Rachel Hannah and Carise Thompson.

Other notable Canadians entered include Ross Proudfoot, Jeremy Rae and Charles Philibert-Thibout in the men’s 1,500 metres; Andrew Nixon, Aaron Hendrikx, Peter Corrigan, Tristan Woodfine and Hussein Hashi in the men’s 5,000 metres; Paul Galas and Phillipe St. Hilaire in the men’s high jump; Tyler MacLeod in the men’s 200 metres; Marie Colombe in the women’s 200 metres; and Julia Wallace, Caroline Ehrhardt and Jen Cotton in the women’s long jump.

The main portion of the meet is to start at 7 p.m., although the premeet competition is to begin an hour earlier. The meet closes with the steeplechase events. The women’s race goes at 8:30 p.m. and the men’s race goes at 8:45 p.m.

Tickets for the meet are available at Scotiabank locations in Guelph or through the meet’s website (



BC Athletics is pleased to announce Jessica Smith and Chris Winter as our new Athlete Representative Directors.  Jessica and Chris will be working closely with BC Athletics in their new roles.   As Athlete Representative Directors, they will be responsible for initiating, coordinating and presenting communication between athletes and the BC Athletics Board of Directors.  If any athletes have concerns, suggestions, proposals for change or other important input, they are asked to please contact either Jessica or Chris at the information below (email or twitter).  Please join us in welcoming Jessica and Chris to the team!

Canadian Cross Country Championships: Who will win between Bruchet, Wiebe, Winter and Martinson?

Canadian Cross Country Championships: Who will win between Bruchet, Wiebe, Winter and Martinson?

The 2013 Canadian Cross Country Championships are taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, November 30th at Jericho Beach.  The men’s senior championships may be the most intriguing race as the fairly even, top-level talent that is confirmed (to date) will make for an exciting marquee event.

Leading the way is a number of athletes who, depending on the day, can challenge for the win however; the favourites at this time appear to be between Kelly Wiebe, Luc Bruchet, Chris Winter and Geoffrey Martinson.

Olympians and World Championship contenders highlight Canadian Chiba Ekiden Team

Olympians and World Championship contenders highlight Canadian Chiba Ekiden Team

Athletics Canada named today the eight athletes who will travel to Chiba City in Japan for the 2013 Chiba Ekiden Race on November 23. The event is a mixed gender race where men and women alternate legs to cover the marathon distance of 42.195-kilometres. The race comprises of a men’s 5km, women’s 5km, men’s 10km, women’s 5km men’s 10km and finally a women’s 7.195km.

World Championship medallists headline Athletics Canada Francophone Games team

World Championship medallists headline Athletics Canada Francophone Games team

61 athletes will represent Canada in athletics competition at the 2013 Jeux de la Francophonie in Nice, France. Headlining the team are 2013 IAAF World Championship medallists Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., (bronze – High Jump), Dontae Richards-Kwok of Mississauga, Ont., (bronze – 4x100m) Segun Makinde of Ottawa, Ont., (bronze – 4x100m) and Curtis Thom of Ottawa, Ont., who won gold at the IPC World Championships (T53/54 wheelchair classification 4×400-metre relay).

Chris Winter Rounding into form in advance of Worlds

Chris Winter Rounding into form in advance of Worlds

Chris Winter of Speed River Track and Field Club specialises in the 3000 metre steeplechase event. Sunday, in preparation for the 2013 IAAF World Track and Field Championships he registered a win at the Savo Games in Lapinlahti, Finland.  Winter ran a season’s best performance of 8 minutes 28.92 seconds to secure the victory as Taylor Milne finished third in 8 minutes and 39.86.