KELOWNA, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat cross country team kicked off their 2022 season this past weekend as they competed in the Fast Days of Summer 5000 on Sunday, September 4.
The event, which was used by head coach Malindi Elmore as a time trial to help determine her competitive team for the year, featured a number of strong performances from the Heat, by both new and returning athletes.
In the men's event, rookie Russell Pearson of Calgary, was the Heat's top finisher as he crossed the line in second place thanks to a time of 15 minutes and 56 seconds.
He was followed closely by fellow rookies Isaac Baker of Surrey, B.C., and Owen Lloyd of Cambridge, Ont., who put in times of 16:02 and 16:08 respectively.
Last year's top Heat runner and Canada West Second Team All-Star Connor Baerg of Burlington, Ont., finished fifth in 16:15.
Meanwhile, in the women's event, last year's Canada West champion, Joanna Brown of Carp, Ont., had a strong return to the race course as she clocked a time of 17:37 to finish second.
Emily Simpson of Creston, B.C., who transferred to the Heat from the Calgary Dinos, along with returning third-year Eliyah Brawdy of Smithers, B.C., tied for third as they posted identical times of 17:43.
Kate Milne, a third-year from Salmon Arm, B.C., rounded out the top four Heat finishers with a time of 18:32.
The Heat will now turn their attention to their first eight-kilometer race of the season, the Vancouver Spirit Run, on Sunday, September 25 at Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver. 2020 Canadian Olympian and newest member of UBCO cross country team, Trevor Hofbauer, will make his Heat debut at the event in what will be his only race ahead of the Canada West Championships at the end of October.