Sarya Ross beat Mouat teammate Callum Pilgrim (background) to the finish line in the Fraser Valley senior girls cross-country championship race last week.

Sarya Ross beat Mouat teammate Callum Pilgrim (background) to the finish line in the Fraser Valley senior girls cross-country championship race last week.

Abbotsford cross-country runners shine at home

After having her 2012 cross-country season derailed by a back injury, Sarya Ross earned her golden moment at the Fraser Valleys.

After having her 2012 cross-country season derailed by a back injury, Sarya Ross earned her golden moment last Wednesday at the Fraser Valley high school championships.

The W.J. Mouat senior traversed the 4km course at Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Park in 15:27, leading a trio of Hawks runners in the top 10 of the senior girls race – defending champ Callum Pilgrim was second, while Alicia Unruh was seventh.

“I was injured all last year, so it feels really good to be back,” Ross enthused.

The Hawks finished second in the senior girls team standings to Walnut Grove and will be seeking a top-five finish at the B.C. championships this weekend at Aldergrove Lake Park.

Pilgrim said that working together as a team is very beneficial to the runners as individuals.

“We do it in practices, too – we stick together and push each other,” she said. “If Sarya hadn’t been there, I don’t think it would have been the same, because she always pushes me to do better.”

Local highlights at the Valley meet included a gold medal in the Grade 8 girls race by Sienna Lenz of Abby Middle, and a third-place team finish by the Abby Christian senior girls led by Carissa Berger’s eighth-place result.

Other top Abbotsford finishers in each race included Mouat’s Aidan Bingert (12th, senior boys), Mouat’s Devon Kular (13th, junior boys), MEI’s Katia Heppell (15th, junior girls) and MEI’s Noah Nickel (12th, Grade 8 boys).

On Saturday, the BC Athletics cross-country championships arrived at Clearbrook Park, and Lockhart MacGregor’s bronze medal in the nine-year-old boys division highlighted the results from Abbotsford’s Valley Royals club. MacGregor clocked a time of 6:50 over the 1.5km course.

Other Royals’ top-five finishers included Rachel Mortimer (fourth, 12-year-old girls), Delaney Chapman (fourth, youth girls) and Josephine Calverly (fifth, 13-year-old girls).

Elsewhere, Royals runner Oliver Jorgensen led the SFU Clan to a third-place team result at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships last Saturday, finishing ninth individually en route to earning the outstanding freshman of the year award.

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