Pilgrim leads Mouat's podium sweep at Fraser Valley XC championships
The W.J. Mouat Hawks put together a performance of historic dominance at the Fraser Valley high school cross-country running championships on Wednesday.
In the senior girls race at Aldergrove Lake Park, Mouat's Callum Pilgrim, Alicia Unruh and Alex Siemens monopolized the podium, finishing first, second and third, respectively.
It's the first time in the race's history that three runners from the same school have finished top-three.
The Hawks' top trio, along with Sarya Ross (18th) and Amanda Thompson (39th), combined to win the team championship with a low score of 43 points, easily out-distancing defending champ Walnut Grove (74 points), Charles Best (78) and Abbotsford Christian (88).
Pilgrim, Unruh and Siemens ran together for much of the 4.5-kilometre race, with Pilgrim pulling away on a sprint over the last 200 metres to win by eight seconds.
"Callum just has a killer instinct," Hawks cross-country coach Cameron Smith enthused. "The girls were phenomenal – I was like a proud father."
The Hawks appear poised for a big-time performance at the B.C. high school championships, which run Nov. 3 in Prince George.
"All three of them have a shot at winning," Smith said of Pilgrim, Unruh and Siemens, who won the provincial title in 2009 as a Grade 9 athlete. "They're so tight, so close, that any one can win on any given day."
In other Fraser Valley XC action, Hannah Konrad of Yale Secondary finished third in the junior girls race and qualified for provincials. Delaney Chapman of Abbotsford Traditional was 14th in the junior girls, while Mouat's Peter Mitchell was 20th in the senior boys event.