LONDON, ON – For the first time in program history, the UBC Thunderbirds are the men’s and women’s U SPORTS Cross Country National Champions.
Katie Newlove won individual gold – the second year in a row UBC has done it – to lead the T-Birds women to their first-ever U SPORTS pennant, while Canada West is the gold medalist Andrew Davies won bronze on Sunday, helping the men’s team to its first Canadian title since 1993.
“I think this is definitely more than we expected to get so many All-Canadians, two championships and Steve Weiler being named coach of the year on both the men’s and women’s sides,” said the UBC head coach. Laurier Primeau after a historic achievement. “I think as much as we as coaches feel this is a big accomplishment, this was really our team’s goal.”
UBC’s triumph on Sunday is the culmination of a long run to the top of the podium. The women’s team won second place last year, and in 2023 the breakthrough came thanks to a dominant performance.
“This is an incredibly special day,” added UBC Head Endurance Coach Steve Weiler. “It’s incredibly difficult to put all the pieces together in a team of 14 and a competitive race with all these other teams with similar aspirations, but they did a great job of listening, accepting and performing well. It’s deserved, everyone ran fantastic today.”
Newlove’s winning time of 28:06.8 saw the third-year Ottawa native cross the finish line more than 11 seconds ahead of Laval’s silver medalist, Catherine Beauchemin.
Jennifer Erickson she finished fourth in 29:27.4 while Holly MacGillvray managed three Thunderbirds in the top eight, the only team to do so.
— U SPORTS Cross Country (@USPORTS_XC) November 12, 2023
“It’s pretty amazing, it’s something we’ve been working on as a team for a long time here, so it’s pretty special,” said MacGillivray, who improved her 18th place in 2022. “That definitely speaks not only to everyone who ran today, but to all of our teammates. It just goes to show that we could have put different combinations of seven runners out there and I think we would have had similar results. speaks to the program as a whole and the team culture we create really allows us to perform on the day.”
Marley Beckett she repeated 11th place at the finish line at the 2022 U SPORTS MEETING with a time of 29:33.5 on the eight-kilometer course while Rachel Mortimer and Kyla Becker tied for 15thth in 29:37.6, rounding out UBC’s scorers and securing the team’s first-ever U SPORTS title with a 33-point victory over the host silver medalists Western Mustangs.
The first U SPORTS men’s team championship in 30 years – and first since rejoining U SPORTS in 2018 – was a tighter battle as UBC won the title by just eight points over Laval, who again won the silver medal.
Rouge et Or actually had the first two runners before crossing the line Andrew Davies’ bronze medal finish 24:24.7. But with three Thunderbirds in the top ten and Dylan Uhrich closing the top five with 23rd place, UBC secured the win and the blue and gold spot.
Davies’ bronze makes it two straight for the five-year transfer who helped McMaster University to the 2022 team title.
“Pretty amazing. I knew throughout the season we always believed we had a chance, but not necessarily anyone was predicting us to win,” Davies said. “After winning with Mac last year, I didn’t think I could feel this good winning with another team, but the feeling is just fantastic.”
Fellow fifth year T-Bird John Perrier finished fifth, crossing the line in 24:44.4, bettering his 2022 result on 18th single ending.
Jaiveer Tiwana he ran an incredible 25:01.4 and won tenth place Riley Miller – running his final race as a Thunderbird after a five-year career – was the fourth UBC competitor to score, finishing 17th.th overall.
“From a team perspective, everyone did their job,” added Davies. “Riley Miller in his last UBC race he had a great performance and that’s all we needed.”
“Our fifth runner, Dylan Uhrichwas as important as Andrew Davies today,” Primeau said. “But they also ran very smart and according to the plan that Steve and the team discussed. We don’t want to be in front and disappear, we have to be smart, responsive and move through the pack in the last two kilometers and they did just that.”
“Depth is what wins team titles and what will put you on the podium,” Weiler added. “We’re incredibly proud to have a top five on both the men’s and women’s sides. Those are key points and when you look at the results, ten seconds faster or ten seconds slower, there’s a significant difference for the number four and number five runners. Just an excellent performance across the field . They succeeded, they succeeded.”
A clean sweep at London’s Thames Valley Golf Course caps off what can only be described as a perfect season for UBC Cross Country on an incredible few days across the board.
“It was an outstanding weekend,” added Primeau. “And call some of the other UBC Sports. I know some of our athletes were watching the soccer game yesterday, women’s soccer in the final, there’s just a lot to celebrate if you’re a Thunderbird today.”