VANCOUVER — In the first collegiate cross country race of the season, the UBC Thunderbirds won a team sweep, with the men’s and women’s teams finishing first at TWU Invite Saturday afternoon in Abbotsford.
Kiana Gibson won the individual gold medal leading the women’s team with a time of 28:23.0 on the eight-kilometre course at Clearbrook Park.
Second Year T-Bird Bill Makwae earned a second-place finish in 24:46.1 as he led UBC to victory in the men’s six-team field.
“Despite the hot weather, our teams had a great day, including some exciting improvements from Kyla Becker and Bill Makwae“, said the assistant coach and head of endurance of the UBC, Steve Weiller. “It was great to see our colleagues from British Columbia as well as the Alberta team. We are cautious with some minor injuries and hope to be full by the CanWest Championships on October 29.”
Led by first-place finisher Gibson, the women’s T-Bird team saw all five athletes score in the top eight among 50 competitors. Holly MacGillivray, Kyla Beckerand Marley Beckett crossed the line from fourth to sixth place, respectively, while Jamie Hennessy completed the T-Birds’ top five with an eighth time of 29:45.0, sixth fastest among team-attached riders.
Liam Dwyer and John Perrier finished fourth and fifth respectively in the men’s race – just four seconds apart – while Riley Miller (seventh) and Sacha Schimmelpenninck (11e) rounded out UBC’s men’s scoring pool.
Next up for the T-Birds is the BC Cross Country Championships on Saturday October 22 at Crescent Park in Surrey.
The following week’s Canada West Championships will be held in Langley while the U SPORTS National Championship tie will take place on Saturday, November 12 in Halifax.