The Dover Bay Lazer Hawks senior boys are Island cross-country champions once again.
The Lazer Hawks ran away with their second zone title at Beaver Lake Park in Saanich, and now enter provincials on Nov. 2 in Aldergrove as one of the favourites for a B.C. School Sports title.
Grade 11 runner Peter Oxland, 16, led the way for the Dover Bay, finishing the 6.7-kilometre course in 21 minutes and 19 seconds, just 11 seconds behind Eric Evans of Reynolds Secondary in Victoria.
"We're very pleased with the result," said Dover Bay coach Bob Saunders, noting their first Island title came in 2011. "I thought all 12 boys that ran, ran very well."
Oxland was one of the pre-race favourites, and he backed it up with his fifth podium of the season. He passed Oak Bay's Liam Kettle, who lead for the first two circuits, on the third lap. But he was caught by Evans during the final halfkilometre.
It sets up an competitive provincial championship in two weeks. "He's a runner with lots of potential and we trust him to be a leader in our group, and that will continue at provincials," said Saunders. "He's shown throughout the year, that he sets the pace for us, which is really important."
All of the top Dover athletes finished in the Top 10, and within 42 seconds of each other.
Anthony Serban was fifth in 20:47, Thomas Oxland sixth at 21:48, Chris Serban was seventh at 21:49 and Miles Hyunh was ninth at 22:01.
"It's been like that every practice this fall," said Saunders.
"Those five kids, every practice. .. they just push them selves."
Barsby's Sean Miller also ran well, placing third over all at 2:20 and will also go to Aldergrove to run in the individual competition, as will Josh Bailey out of Cedar, who came in 19th.
Dover Bay dominated the overall standings, finishing with 24 points, Oak Bay was second with 65, Carihi was third with 92 and Reynolds grabbed the final provincial spot with 105 points.
Nanaimo will also be well represented in the senior girls competition.
Nanaimo District School finished second overall in the team standings with 107 points, 57 behind first place Oak Bay. Mount Douglas was third with 123 points and Francis Kelly fourth with 128 points.
NDSS was led by Myriam Bassett, who finished the 4.5-kilometre course fourth in 16:26.14, was edged out by Madison
Heisterman, 13, of Cynnabar - competing for Queen Margaret Secondary in Duncan - at 16:26.00.
Grade 9 speedster Desirae Ridenour, out of Francis Kelsey Secondary, repeated as girls champion with a 15:55 time and Chloe Hegland of Parklands Secondary finished second. Marita DeSchiffart of Nanaimo Christian School was ninth in 17:16, Alyssa Mousseau of Wellington Secondary was 14th and Emma Rainboth of NDSS was 18th.
The top 20 runners, regardless of school qualification, advance to provincials.
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