Simon Fraser junior harrier Olivia Willett (left) has been the top Clan finisher over its past eight races dating back to last season. On Saturday, she leads her team at the NCAA D2 West Regionals in Monmouth, Ore. (Photo property of Central Washington University athletics 2019. All rights reserved)
Feature University Cross Country

Clan cross-country captain Olivia Willett embraces team aspects of her sport as SFU junior harrier leads her team to NCAA West Regionals

BURNABY — Ask any collegiate cross-country runner about the most unique aspects of their sport, and they will talk with passion about the power of the pack, and how each individual’s best performance is first-and-foremost a way to raise the level of the entire team.“You want to run with your teammates, not against them,” says […]

UBC's Nicola Symonds (right), en route to out-kicking Saskatchewan's Courtney Hufsmith on Saturday to win the Canada West women's cross country title, did it on the same Canmore Park course she won her very first cross-country meet as an eight-year old back in 2005. (Photo by David Moll property of Calgary Dinos athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Cross Country

UBC’s Nicola Symonds: Some 14 years and a stone’s throw later, gutsy ‘Birds harrier returns to her Calgary course and wins race of her life in CW final

VANCOUVER — Ask any devoted harrier to define their love of cross-country running, and many will tell you that on their best days, it’s an act which takes them back to being a kid at recess, running unbridled through their old school yard.Last Saturday, at the age of 22, UBC Thunderbirds’ senior Nicola Symonds had […]

For Trinity Western's Joanna Williams, a courageous decision to speak about her mental health struggles has put her in a joyful place, one where she has left her worries behind her. (Photo by Bailey Broadbent property of Trinity Western athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Cross Country

A Sunday Read: TWU’s Joanna Williams confronts her mental health struggles and says “I think there is something so beautiful about feeling strong”

LANGLEY — She’d never had this feeling before.For the first seven seasons of her competitive running life, Joanna Williams had tried to justify the myriad reasons that she trained and she raced, yet in her deepest place, they had all rung hollow.But this new feeling? What was it? She’d never had this feeling before.Two Saturday mornings […]

Feature High School Football Podcast University Cross Country

PODCAST — The VL Pod is back, celebrating a big anniversary for Abby Panthers football, and a new cross-country season for the SFU Clan

Varsity Letters — The Podcast is back with episode No. 2 in our re-launch. This week, we open our show with a high school football theme, celebrating Saturday’s 35th anniversary of the Abbotsford Panthers’ 1984 B.C. championship win over the Notre Dame Jugglers. Paul Gill, Denis Kelly and Jalem Catlin are all a part of […]

Simon Fraser's Olivia Willett (left) and Addy Townsend have trained to be at their best when they take to the line Saturday for the NCAA Div. 2 national cross-country championship race in Pittsburgh. (Photo courtesy Simon Fraser athletics)
Feature University Cross Country

The long & short of it! Clan tradition of track-to-trail excellence continues Saturday in NCAA national XC title race

BURNABY — When the Simon Fraser Clan hit the road to ‘Rep the Leaf’ as the only non-U.S. school in the entire NCAA, they’re so often sought out by curious rival coaches and student-athletes.

Simon Fraser Clan captain Rowan Doherty says he and his teammates have run with no regrets this season as they attempt to return to the 2018 NCAA Div. 2 national cross-country championships Dec. 1 in Pittsburgh. (Photo courtesy Simon Fraser Clan athletics)
Feature University Cross Country

The Run for Redemption: Spurred by 2017’s crushing national title-race snub, SFU Clan men’s X-C hits its NCAA high-water mark

BURNABY — They are a pretty easy team to pull for. Like the late Terry Fox himself, they too are distance runners in training, making the rounds on many days in-and-around the athletic facilities which now bear his name and sit on the same part of the Burnaby Mountain campus that the iconic Canadian hero himself […]

UBC Thunderbirds' Kieran Lumb (left) and Jesse Hooton helped lead the blue and gold to its first-ever NAIA men's cross country title two weekends ago in Vancouver, Wash. (Steve Dipaola/Dipaola Photography Inc.)
Feature University Cross Country

Despite its NAIA stronghold, UBC cross-country sees the bigger picture in seeking switch to U Sports for 2018

VANCOUVER — Taken as a whole, from its efforts in the fall on the trails, to its spring-time results on the track, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that there has never been a more prolific period in the concurrent history of the UBC Thunderbirds cross-country, and track and field programs.

Simon Fraser Clan senior Miryam Bassett (513) has been rock solid in leading her team to a top five national NCAA Div. 2 cross-country ranking. (Photo courtesy UW Sundodger Invitational)
Feature University Cross Country

SFU cross-country: Coach Brit loves her ‘local girls’ as Triple Crown of GNAC, region and national meets await

BURNABY — Simon Fraser has become one of the frontrunners in the world of NCAA Div. 2 women’s cross-country running. The question now, as the 2017 season enters its Triple Crown stretch drive of conference, region and national championship races?

Simon Fraser's Julia Howley, pictured at the UW's Sundodger Invite, has finished top three in every race this season for the Clan. (Photo courtesy SFU athletics)
Feature University Cross Country

SFU’s Julia Howley: How the Clan’s free spirit found her groove on a true cross-country trek

BURNABY — At various points over the summer of 2015, Julia Howley found herself standing in place that looked like it sat on the top of the world.

UBC's Brianna Cairns navigates a steeple at the 2017 Western Washington University Ralph Vernacchia Track and Field Meet at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. (Wilson Wong/UBC athletics)
Feature University Cross Country University Track and Field

Always making a splash, UBC’s Brianna Cairns tracks a career in marine biology

VANCOUVER — This is the story of a girl who has never been afraid to get her feet wet.In fact if you listen for the sound of a splash, you know that Brianna Cairns can’t be too far away.That’s the most apparent commonality when you’re talking about a UBC student-athlete who has followed the seemingly […]