The Walnut Grove Gators Grade 8 girls cross country team captured the Fraser Valley banner.

The Walnut Grove Gators Grade 8 girls cross country team captured the Fraser Valley banner.

Gators’ Harrison, Buckingham take first and third

Walnut Grove junior boys and Grade 8 girls win respective team titles at Fraser Valley cross-country championships

Walnut Grove’s Joel Harrison and Paul Buckingham came first and third, respectively, at the Fraser Valley cross-country championships, helping the Gators finish first in the team competition.

Harrison crossed the finish line of the 4.7-km course at Coquitlam’s Mundy Park on Oct. 22 in 15:54.42, more than 20 seconds ahead of Earl Marriott’s Jaxon Mackie.

Buckingham was third at 16:29.02.

The Walnut Grove team of Harrison, Buckingham, Ford McMahon, Will Riley, Jake Robertson  and Liam Riley finished with 19 points and a total time of 1:06:24.33 — an average of 16:36.09.

Each team’s top four runners get points based on their finish with the lowest overall score taking top spot.

Holy Cross was second with 39 points.

In the Grade 8 girls’ division, Langley Christian’s Brooke Mussche took top spot with a time of 14:18.14, 13 seconds ahead of Panorama Ridge’s Alanna Sydenham. The course was 3.4 km.

In the team competition, Walnut Grove and D.W. Poppy took the top two spots.

The Gators had 32 points, with Samantha Matthewman (ninth overall), Melanie Capstick (13th), Lauren Solmes (14th) and Brittany Standerwick (25th) all scoring points.

Poppy had 38 points and the Redhawks’ top runners were Kassidy Coburn (fifth) and Emily White (seventh) who both cracked the top 10. Brianna Rottluff (25th) and Katelyn Sylvester (28th) also scored points.

Walnut Grove also finished second in the senior girls division and third in the Grade 8 boys division.

The Gators senior girls finished with 40 points, 10 back off Semiahmoo.

Chelsea Borrowdale (seventh), Isabella Boccia (eighth), Emma Dearden (14th), Emma Harrison (24th) and Sarah Buckingham (30th) scored points in the 4.7 km race.

In the Grade 8 division, Walnut Grove had 42 points, placing behind Lord Tweedsmuir (20 points) and White Rock Christian Academy (29 points). The course was 3.4 km.

Brad Fortin (13th), Brandyn Pataki (25th), Matthew Martens (27th), Daniel Martinez (32nd) and Subramanium Athavan (35th) scored points for the Gators.

And the Brookswood Bobcats had 48 points in the junior girls division, nine back of Maple Ridge and five back of Sullivan Heights. The course was 4.7 km.

Tavia Jasper (sixth), Louise Forsyth (10th), Kayla Weltzin (13th), Sidney Hoolsema (36th) and Nora Denecke (93rd) scored points.

And in the senior boys’ 6.3-km race, Langley Christian’s Nick Colyn cracked the top 10, finishing in a time of 22:37.57.

Up next for racers who qualified is the B.C. high school track and field championships. The race will be held on Saturday (Nov. 1) in Victoria.