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UBC Okanagan to host national cross-country championship

Both the 2023 Canada West and 2024 U Sports championships will take place at Mission Recreation Park
The UBCO Heat are hosting the 2023 Canada West and 2024 U SPORTS cross-country championships. (UBCO Athletics)

The UBC Okanagan Heat are hosting two big cross-country events in the next year and a half.

In an announcement on Thursday, UBCO will be hosting the 2023 Canada West Championships on Saturday, Oct. 28 and the 2024 USPORTS Championships the following November. Both events will take place at Mission Recreation Park.

“We couldn’t be more excited about hosting the nation’s best cross-country student athletes here in Kelowna and the Okanagan in 2023 and 2024,” said Tom Huisman, UBCO’s director of athletics and recreation. “The 2024 USPORTS Championship will mark the first time that UBC Okanagan has hosted a national championship, which is something we take great pride in, and will help establish a foundation for pursuing future national championship events.”

“Hosting sport events are an essential element in creating a prosperous, vibrant community,” said Brad Duquette, community development coordinator for the City of Kelowna. “City of Kelowna is excited to partner with UBC Okanagan to provide an opportunity for athletes to compete at a western and national level and to offer our local sport community the opportunity to experience these high level events right here at home, at Mission Recreation Park. Hosting these events will also be an impressive addition to the City’s already rich sports history, and will contribute to our efforts to be recognized as a premier sport event destination in Western Canada.”

Both the men’s and the women’s teams have been on the rise since 2019 behind the coaching of Olympian Malindi Elmore. The women’s team is a top five program in Canada and won silver at the Canada West Championships in 2021 and 2022.

“It is very exciting to bring the Canada West and USPORTS Championships to Kelowna,” said Elmore. “As someone born and raised in the city, I have been running in Kelowna most of my life and believe we have one of the most beautiful and supportive running communities in the country. To be able to showcase our city to top university student-athletes from around Canada really helps puts us on the ‘running map’ and also send the signal of our intent to continue to evolve into a top running program.”

The Canada West Championship will be the third event UBCO has hosted since joining the conference in 2011 (2015-16 men’s and women’s volleyball, 2019 men’s and women’s golf).

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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