Canada and the United States have the largest teams competing in this year’s Pan Am Cross Country Cup at Bear Mountain in Langford. There are 24 team members for each country. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Athletes gear up for Pan Am XC Cup at Bear Mountain Saturday

This is the first time Canada is hosting the championships

Athletes from 12 different countries will take on a challenging Bear Mountain course Saturday for the Pan Am Cross Country Cup.

The biannual race will feature 117 athletes from the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States. It is in conjunction with the NACAC Cross Country Championships.

Cross country teams will compete in four different races for males and females – two U20 and two senior races. The U20 men’s race will be over an 8 kilometre distance while the female race will be 6 kilometres. The senior men and women will run 10 kilometres.

The largest teams, with 24 athletes each, are Canada and the United States.

READ ALSO: Canada names 24 athletes to compete for 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Canada’s senior women’s team will be led by Genevieve Lalonde, Natasha Wodak and Maria Bernard-Galea while John Gay, Connor Black and Jean-Simon Desgagnes will lead the senior men’s side. Lalonde is a two-time defending Canadian Cross Country champion and Wodak set a new 10 kilometre Pan American Games record in Peru last year. Gay and Black qualified for the 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup due to strong performances at the 2019 Cross Country Championships.

“We are very excited to be competing on home turf and in such a high performance sport environment like Greater Victoria,” said Hilary Stellingwerff, coach of the Pan Am Canadian team. “We have very strong teams in all the categories, with our top athletes racing and contending for medals, individually and as teams.”

READ ALSO: Vikes coach joining Team Canada at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

There will be 18 runners from Peru, 15 from Mexico, 12 from Brazil and Puerto Rico each, five from Trinidad and Tobago, four from the Bahamas, three from Colombia; two from Costa Rica, Guadeloupe and Panama each and one from El Salvador.

The Pan Am Cross Country Cup is held every second year and attracts teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The last one was held in El Salvador. This is the first time Canada has hosted these championships, which will take place on the Bear Mountain Golf Course on Saturday.

In addition to the Pan Am XC Cup, a series of other races will be run on the same course like the Can Am Masters Challenge between Canada and the USA, the Pacific Northwest Youth Cup, the Nations Cup and a five kilometre community race that will kick off the day.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Star Cinema looks to reel in audience with reopening

It’s lights, camera, action — again — for Sidney’s Star Cinema in… Continue reading

Saanich councillors scurry to ban rat poisons on municipal properties

A ‘small but important first step’ to protect local wildlife, councillor says

No swimming or skating at Juan de Fuca rec centre for now

The Q Centre to reopen starting on July 13

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read