Kelowna runner leads UBC, Bears tune up, Crows win debut

Kelowna’s John Gay led the University of B.C. Thunderbirds to a third-place finish at the Sundodger Invitational cross country running meet in Seattle on Saturday.

Gay, an Okanagan Mission Secondary School graduate and a third-year student runnerfor the T-Birds, covered the eight-kilometre course at Lincoln Park in 24 minutes, 18.20 seconds (24:18.20) for fourth place overall among 291 runners in the season-opening event. He was first among NAIA runners.

<who>Photo Credit: Sara Madden </who>John Gay (in blue) of Kelowna raced to fourth place in Seattle.”  data-src=”” style=”margin-left: 17px; margin-right: 17px; float: left;”/>Thunderbird rookie <strong>Sean Bergman</strong>, a graduate of Kelowna Secondary School, made his university debut with a 16th-place finish in a time of 24:53.60.</p>
<p>As a team, UBC posted a score of 102 points, 59 off the lead. The T-Birds, ranked fourth in the first men’s cross country coaches’ Top 25 Poll of the season, finished as the highest-placing NAIA team at the event, one spot higher than third-ranked Southern Oregon.</p>
<p>Some UBC runners will take part in next weekend’s Vancouver Spirit Run, while others will next see competition at the 42nd annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational in Salem, Ore., on Oct. 1.</p>
<p>Gay is coming off a strong 2015-16 running season in which he closed out with a 3,000-metre steeplechase win at the NAIA outdoor track and field championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.</p>
<h5><span style=Boucherie tuned up for Friday’s football opener

The Mt. Boucherie Bears made more than their fair share of mistakes, but still hung in to make it close in a pre-season high school football game in Wenatchee, Wash. on Friday.

The Bears, winners in two previous pre-season games, fell 12-7 to the host Wenatchee Panthers despite twice fumbling deep in their end, throwing an interception and having one punt go only 10 yards.

<who>Photo Credit: Lorne White/KelownaNow </who>Wyatt Fagan (56) among the Boucherie defensive stalwarts in Wenatchee.”  data-src=””/>Boucherie’s only points came on a 12-yard scramble by quarterback <strong>Taylor Knoll</strong>, with <strong>Chris Smith </strong>converting.</p>
<p>Knoll completed 16 of 24 passes for 168 yards. He also rushed for 32 yards on nine carries while running back <strong>Jesse Benneke</strong> carried 14 times for 44 yards and caught seven passes for 54 yards. Smith finished with five passes for 46 yards.</p>
<p><img alt=Photo Credit: Lorne White/KelownaNow The Bears’ Chris Smith caught five passes for 46 yards.” data-src=”” style=”margin-left: 17px; margin-right: 17px; float: left;”/>On defence, linebacker Benneke led the Bears with nine tackles and a sack from his linebacker position while defensive end Wyatt Fagan had two tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Nate Schroeder got in six tackles, the same as Smith, who also intercepted a pass along with Burkely Theriault.

“In all fairness, Wenatchee played good defence and forced us into a few of those mistakes,” said Bears head coach Mike Godwin. “But we were happy with how we played for the most part, especially on defence, but we just made too many mistakes.”

The Bears will begin regular-season play on Friday at the Apple Bowl when they play host to the Mission Panthers beginning at 6:30 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Kelowna Owls will open their season at the Apple Bowl against the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey beginning at 4 p.m.

Related: Owls edge Voodoos at Apple Bowl

Related: High school football roundup

Crows open Div. 1 season with win at home

A pair of tries by both Ignacio Rodriguez-Guerra and Wes Black led the Kelowna Crows to a 29-15 win over visiting Richmond in their opening match of the B.C. Rugby Union Okanagan Springs Brewery League Division 1 season on Saturday.

<who>Photo Credit: Dennis Eden </who>Wes Black scored a pair of tries for the Kelowna Crows.”  data-src=”” style=”margin-left: 17px; margin-right: 17px; float: left;”/>It took the Crows just six minutes to strike first, with Rodriguez-Guerra opening the scoring at Parkinson Sportfields. Black followed with his first of two tries, while “Iggy”made it 21-0. With captain<strong> Danny Illichmann </strong>off with a hamstring strain, Richmond gained momentum to make it 21-5 by the half.</p>
<p>The visitors carried on where they left off by taking the play to the Crows early in the second half. While the Kelowna side gave away far too many penalties, it eventually got into the Richmond end for a penalty kick.</p>
<p>Richmond replied with a an unconverted try to make a game of it, but Black ended the attempted comeback when he picked up the ball on a turnover and ran from end to end for the final Kelowna major.</p>
<p>The Crows are back in action on Saturday when they play host to Langley. The Division 1 team plays at 2:30 p.m., preceded by the Division 2 match at 1 p.m. Both games are at Parkinson.</p>
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