New Yukoner wins at XC championships

David Eikelboom has been living in the territory for just four months and he’s already a Yukon champion. Eikelboom, who moved to Whitehorse from Thunder Bay, Ontario, in May, won the open men’s division.

David Eikelboom has been living in the territory for just four months and he’s already a Yukon champion.

Eikelboom, who moved to Whitehorse from Thunder Bay, Ontario, in May, won the open men’s division at the Yukon Cross Country Championships on Sunday at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.

“It was great,” said Eikelboom. “It’s a tough course. There are those two uphills that are really grueling. So I found myself looking over my shoulder pretty regularly going up those. But the weather is great and you couldn’t ask for better trails than what are here.”

Eikelboom completed the division’s 10-kilometre course in 39 minutes and 43 seconds. Placing second was Robert Gilles (48:18) in front of third place’s Ben Yu-Schott (52:44).

Surprisingly, Eikelboom only started running competitively about a year and a half ago.

“I ran the Boston (Marathon) five-kilometre (event) actually, and I just got into it from there,” said Eikelboom.

Sunday’s win marks Eikelboom’s first running victory. He placed second in the open men’s division of the Mount Lorne Misadventure cross-country race in July and was on the second-place two-person mixed team in the River Trail Marathon in August.

Last year’s winner, Ray Sabo, who holds the course record of 38:27, dropped out mid-race with an injury. Sabo and Eikelboom were teammates on Whitehorse’s Scarecrow running team, which won its third consecutive men’s title at the Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay at the start of the month. Eikelboom was the second fastest runner on Leg 6 of the relay.

“It was a great group of runners to train with, so it brings out the best,” said Eikelboom. “I know Ray won this race last year, so my strategy going in was to hang with him and just see what happens.”

Whitehorse’s Maura Sullivan defended her open women’s title from last year, completing the eight-kilometre run in 33:54.

“I haven’t been running in the races this year. We were away for a bit in the summer and my knee was injured,” said Sullivan, who was 51 seconds off her 2011 time.

Last year Sullivan was the only runner in the open women division. She had more competition this time around.

Placing second was Lauren Whyte (36:51), who took first in the open women’s half distance division at the Yukon River Trail Marathon and was the top female runner at the Mount Lorne Misadventure.

In third on Sunday was Amelia Fraser with a time of 38:37.

“It’s a beautiful day and I think trail running is what I enjoy the most, more than road running,” said Sullivan. “I just go by how I feel. I try to do the first lap at the same pace as the last lap.”

Sullivan won the women’s half-distance division in the Yukon River Trail Marathon in 2010 and won the mixed two-person division with her brother this year.

She also won the Olympic women’s division in the 2011 Whitehorse Triathlon.

Sullivan was the fastest female runner in Leg 1 of the Klondike road relay a couple weeks ago.

The only other runner to maintain a title on Sunday was Whitehorse’s Tom Ullyett in the masters men division (50-59). Ullyett completed the eight-kilometre run in 35:35.

“It would be described by most people as a difficult course,” said Ullyett. “It’s only two kilometres but it includes two hills, one of which is Telemark Hill.”

Telemark Hill was once a downhill ski area in Whitehorse.

This year’s championship featured 45 runners, more than twice as many than last year.

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Results

Open male – 10 km

1st David Eikelboom – 39:43

2nd Robert Gilles – 48:18

3rd Ben Yu-Schott – 52:44

Ray Sabo DNF

Micah Quinn DNF

Open female – 8 km

1st Maura Sullivan – 33:54

2nd Lauren Whyte – 36:51

3rd Amelia Fraser – 38:37

4th Coralee Ullyett – 52:02

Three years old male – 1 km

1st Hunter Stehelin – 8:48

2nd Gregory Freeman – 11:27

Males 5–7 – 1 km

1st Simon Connell – 5:23

Nicholas Connell DNF

Females 5–7 – 1 km

Amber Firth-Ward DNF

Males 8-10 – 1 km

1st Andrew Roberts – 4:29

2nd Connor Cozens – 4:32

3rd Noah Connell – 5:10

4th Scottie James-Shepard – 7:33

Females 8–10 – 1 km

1st Breda McIntyre – 4:49

2nd Lisa Freeman – 5:02

3rd Echo Gatensby – 6:13

4th Breyza Firth-Ward – 7:48

5th Chanelle Firth Ward – 8:25

6th Jaqulin James-Bennett – 10:41

Males 12–13 – 2 km

1st Darby McIntyre – 9:17

2nd Sigi Conroy – 11:50

3rd Keona McLaughlin – 14:05

4th Jade McLeod – 14:05

5th Darrien James-Tizya – 20:45

Females 12–13 – 2 km

1st Aiyanna Gatensby – 20:39

2nd Angie Wally – 20:42

Males 16–19 – 8 km

1st Aidan Bradley – 35:24

Masters male (40–49) – 8 km

1st Dominic Bradford – 32:30

2nd Jerome McIntyre – 37:50

3rd Lee Malanchuk – 43:49

Scott Fraser DNF

Masters female (40–49) – 6 km

1st Sue Bogle – 29:28

2nd Keltie Hollingdale – 33:30

3rd Haley Henderson – 33:44

4th Megan Phillips – 34:40

5th Tracey Taylor – 37:08

Masters male (50–59) – 8 km

1st Tom Ullyett – 35:35

2nd Scott Gilbert – 35:48

3rd Rob Legare – 40:58

4th Francis Whiteman – 43:29

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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