Cross Country: Mt. Doug look to cross up Oak Bay at Island championships

Resurgent Mt. Doug cross country team looks to win Island team title on Oct. 26

Mount Doug student Nathan Howe and Oak Bay High’s Brendan Restall finished 26th and 28th

Mount Doug student Nathan Howe and Oak Bay High’s Brendan Restall finished 26th and 28th

A resurgence with the Mount Douglas secondary cross country program, now up to 30 runners, could end Oak Bay High’s streak as the top team at the Island championships next week.

The Island’s high school cross country championships are at Beaver Lake Park on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

It’s the depth of Mt. Doug that has coach Bernie Kidd thinking of an Island title.

“In the past few years we’d have a couple of entries, down to three just two years ago. Now we’re up to 30 kids, something we haven’t seen for a long time.”

Seniors Caleigh Bachop (Grade 11) and Katelyn Hayward (Grade 12) lead the Mt. Doug girls team along with Grade 9 phenom Farisha Arnensen. Each of the three won a race for Mt. Doug during the school racing season, as have seniors Tyler Norman and Thomas Getty.

Helping the cause is a number of crossover athletes from Mt. Doug’s other sports.

“About two-thirds of our team is dedicated cross-country and then we’ve picked up some mercenaries from field hockey, football and basketball that really strengthen us overall,” Kidd said.

The boost in Mt. Doug’s program is no flash in the pan either, as Mt. Doug’s Grade 9 athletes are leading the city and prove a strong future for the team.

Arnensen won the Grade 9 girls’ race at the Island Age Grade Cross Country Championships held at Beaver Lake Park on Oct. 18.

Joel Getty and Ethan Taylor were first and second, respectively, in the Grade 9 boys’ race. Mt. Doug’s Mohand Khouider was fifth and Ryan Niezen was seventh in the same race, winning the Grade 9 team title for Mt. Doug.

Connor Foreman (Claremont) and Brittany King (Spectrum) won the Island Gr. 11 and 12 title at Beaver Lake on Tuesday, with Erik Evan (Reynolds) winning the Gr. 10 boys title and Nanaimo’s Brittany King topping all Gr. 10 girls. Neither of Mt. Doug’s star Gr. 12s Tyler Norman and Katelyn Hayward ran the Age Grade championships. 

Results from the Island Age Grade Cross Country Championships at Beaver Lake Park, Oct. 18

Gr. 9 girls (4-km)

1 Farisha Areunsen Mt. Douglas 

2 Morgan Roskelly Oak Bay 

3 Tkia King  NDSS 

4 Abby Gilchrist  NDSS 

5 Tatianna Haggard John Stubbs 

Gr. 9 boys (4-km)

1 Joel Taylor  Mt. Douglas 

2 Ethan Getty  Mt. Douglas 

3 Chris Branting  Mt. Prevost 

4 Hamish Babin  Claremont 

5 Mohand Khouider Mt. Douglas 

Gr. 10 girls (4-km)

1 Miryam Bassett NDSS 

2 Megan Kinghorn Spectrum 

3 Erica Deschiffert Nan. Christian 

4 Chloe Heglund Parkland 

5 Annina Lorenzo Stelly’s 

Gr. 10  boys (4-km)

1 Erik Evan  Reynolds 

2 Graham Walker  Claremont 

3 Ole Borch  Brentwood 

4 Scott Jones  Stelly’s 

5 Brian Hinds  St. Andrew's 

Senior girls (Grade 11 & 12) (4-km)

1 Brittany King  Spectrum 

2 Andrea Lyon  Francis Kelsey

3 Caleigh Bachop Mt. Douglas

4 Carly O'Sullivan NDSS

5 Maddie Secco  Oak Bay

Senior boys (Grade 11 & 12) (6-km)

1 Connor Foreman Claremont 

2 Liam Maguire  Claremont 

3 Joel DeSchiffart Nan. Christian

4 Thomas Getty  Mt. Douglas 

5 Ben Weir  Glenlyon