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Yukoners burn up the trails at B.C. XC championships

Yukon was well represented at the 2014 B.C. Provincial Cross Country Championships in Abbotsford on Saturday. Only three Whitehorse runners competed, but they did the territory proud.

Yukon was well represented at the 2014 B.C. Provincial Cross Country Championships in Abbotsford on Saturday.

Only three Whitehorse runners competed, but they did the territory proud.

Lindsay Carson secured the top finish of the three. Running her first B.C. championship, the 25-year-old placed third for senior women out of 41 runners, making it the largest division at the championships.

“It was a little bit of a disappointment. It wasn’t a horrible race, but it wasn’t a great race,” said Carson. “It was my first cross-country race of the fall and was kind of a wake-up call for me.”

Carson completed the six-kilometre race in 20 minutes and 53.83 seconds, just 17 seconds behind the winner.

Carson used the B.C. championships to help prepare for the Canadian Cross Country Championships at the end of November. She placed fourth in open women at last year’s nationals.

“I did the B.C. championships as a tune-up before nationals to see how I am with cross-country because I’ve been doing road races recently, for competition,” said Carson. “So it’s good to have a cross-country race. The conditions weren’t the greatest; it was very soft-ground, muddy, rainy. But that’s cross-country, so no excuses. It was good for me to keep my head focused for nationals.”

Whitehorse’s Kieran Halliday had a similar idea. The 18-year-old, who was running for University of British Columbia, hopes his result at provincials will land him on B.C.‘s nationals squad.

“Saturday’s race felt really good. That was the run-off for Team B.C. for the Canadian championships,” said Halliday. “The team hasn’t been announced yet.”

“I was on pace for my fastest eight kilometers of the season.”

Halliday placed 10th out of 29 in boys 16-19 on Saturday. He completed the seven-kilometre course in 22:30.15 - 1:26 behind the winner. The UBC freshman raced at the B.C. championships two years ago and came fourth in the boys 16-17 category.

Whitehorse native Logan Roots finished 11th in senior men, completing the 10-kilometre race in 32:01.10, just 1:39 behind the champ.

It would seem everyone had the nationals on their mind.

“The nationals at the end of November is the bigger goal, so this was getting into cross-country mode, remembering how to race it, that sort of thing,” said Roots.

The 21-year-old, who competes for Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club in Victoria, placed 16th last year at the provincials. On Saturday he set a personal best for the course, despite his being the last race on a the fairly rainy day.

“I’m pretty pleased with it. It’s a little faster than last year as well, so that’s always good,” said Roots. “They’ve run the provincials on this course the last three or four years now. The weather is always changing, but the course is always the same ... The ground managed to stay pretty firm all day. Sometimes when it rains it gets pretty muddy and boggy, but it was actually pretty good.”

Roots was Yukon’s top finisher in the half distance of the Victoria Marathon with seventh overall out of 3,795 participants this month. He was also second for the males 20-24 division in Victoria. Roots also won the Yukon River Trail Marathon for a second consecutive time this past August.

Halliday captured two Yukon running titles this summer. He won Athletics Yukon’s 10-Kilometre Championships in August after taking the top spot in the Yukon Five-Kilometre Championships in July.

Both Roots and Halliday represented Yukon in athletics at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Quebec where Roots became the first Yukoner to reach an A final and Halliday was the first Yukoner to race the 3,000-metre steeplechase.

Carson was the top female in the eight-kilometre race at the Victoria Marathon and took sixth at the 2014 Canadian 10-kilometre Road Race Championships last month.

She placed second out of 19,377 women runners at the Vancouver Sun Run in the spring. Carson, who moved to Whitehorse last year from Cambridge, Ontario, placed second for open women, and first for women 20-24, at the 2014 B.C. 10-Kilometre Championship in July.

Carson is hoping to make Team Canada with a top-six placement and earn a spot at the World Cross Country Championships next March in China.

“If I put everything together on that day, I don’t see why I can’t be one of those competitors to come top six,” said Carson.

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