Whitehorse’s Kieran Halliday was speedy in Seattle on Saturday.
The 18-year-old got his first taste of collegiate competition as his University of British Columbia cross-country team won the team title at the Sundog Invitational in Seattle’s Lincoln Park.
“Just being able to race for the school is really great and a really fun experience,” said Halliday. “The event was a lot of fun. It was one of the biggest races I’ve ever been in – over 200 people – and being able to hold my own against those guys and to see other guys I’ve run with at school running for other teams was a great experience.”
The freshman engineering student placed 73rd out of over 200 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics division with a time of 26:36.
It was his first time running an official eight-kilometre race.
“I’m very happy with my time,” said Halliday. “I came 12th (out of 17) on the UBC varsity team and UBC won the boys individual race and the overall team title for boys and girls.”
Halliday captured two Yukon running titles this summer. He won Athletics Yukon’s Yukon 10-Kilometre Championships in August after taking the top spot in the Yukon Five-Kilometre Championships in July.
Halliday represented Yukon in track (and tennis) at the Canada Summer Games last year, becoming the first Yukoner to compete at the 3,000-metre steeplechase. He took first in the Independent Schools Association’s regional cross-country championships for the Vancouver region a year ago, competing for his high school, Vancouver’s St. George’s School Saints. He then placed 19th at the B.C. High School Cross Country Championships in November.
“These races are a bit longer than I’m used to. In high school we did six-kilometres, these were eight,” said Halliday. “So it was a bit of an adjustment. Another difference is that these guys are all very, very fast. In fact, the people I was running with, there were 26 people who finished between 26:30 and 26:40. So it’s very competitive and very quick.”
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