Comebacks: Mustangs Endurance Men’s BCXC Recap by James Lam

Senior Men’s 8km 

With Luc Bruchet, absent from this year’s race, the stage was set at the 2019 BC Cross Country Championships for a new winner for the first time since 2016. The absence of the 2016 Olympian coincided with the return of 2013/14 BC High school Track and Cross Country Champion Nathan Wadhwani. Having spent the last four years competing for, and completing his undergraduate degree at, Washington State University, Wadhwani marked his return to the BC running scene with a dominant win in the senior men’s division; completing the 8km course in 24:55. Wadhwani took advantage of a fairly pedestrian pace early on to grasp a feel for Elk/Beaver Lake’s challenging course. This allowed him to time his move perfectly as he pulled away from the lead group close to the 6km mark. Mustangs Endurance coach Mark Bomba described Wadhwani’s performance as both “solid” and “controlled”. With the win, Wadhwani earned the title of “BC Cross Country Champion” and marked his comeback to the BC running scene. 

Nathan on the way to his first BC XC Title. Pic: Vid Wadhwani

This year’s provincial championships also featured two other “comebacks” for Mustangs Endurance athletes, as Caleb Dejong took home third place in a time of 25:22 having only returned to running a month ago after 6 weeks of cross training due to injury. Joel Deschiffart, a Nanaimo native, exploited his “home field advantage” and ran exceptionally well to finish fourth in 25:34. This result follows a shaky start Deschiffart’s season following a year of copious cycling and little running. 

Joel Deschiffart taking 4th place. Pic: Vid Wadhwani

Elsewhere in the race, Adam Marshall closed hard to finish 12th in 26:31. To Marshall’s credit, he is running cross country against his will by Coach Mark Bomba. James Lam finished a disappointing 7th place in 26:01 after recovering from a calf strain earlier in the week. Finally Ronald Loewen was just happy to have bested his girlfriend Sarah Inglis. Loewen finished 17th, covering the 8km course in 27:09 while Inglis won the Senior Women’s 8km in 27:21. 

Adam Marshall. Pic: Vid Wadhwani

Youth Boys 5km 

Despite everyone wanting to leave after the senior and junior races, the group stayed behind as Mustangs Endurance featured one athlete in the Youth Boys 5km race.  Jacob Wadhwani, the youngest of the three Wadhwani brothers finished 7th in a time of 16:13. Following in the footsteps of his older brothers Nathan and Isaac, Jacob has begun taking running seriously, and until this race had been unbeaten this cross country season. Jacob ran well in the lead pack for the majority of the race, faltering around 3.5km when a move was made and the lead group strung out. Despite fading to 7th, Jacob delivered an impressive kick in the last 200m. His teammates later accused him of leaving his kick too late and focusing on not losing to the athlete behind him, instead of beating the one in front of him. Still it was a good result and promising race for an athlete who is so young that he does not know who Kenenisa Bekele is. 

Jacob taking 7th place. Pic: Vid Wadhwani

While the rest of Mustang Endurance is about to enter a heavy training block leading up to ACXC in late November, Jacob will compete at the BC High School Championships in Abbotsford on November 2nd.