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A host of sports highlights in Burnaby

The community's achievers and their achievements made news in 2019

Some of the biggest accomplishments in Burnaby sports in 2019 didn’t come at home.

The long list of accomplishments, not so surprisingly, came from all over as the athletes put their best efforts on display both near and far.

Leading the charge were some talented teenagers, who raised the bar and broke records en route to making the NOW’s Sports Highlights of 2019 list. Let’s begin...

Perfection doesn’t come easy, nor much sweeter.

The Burnaby South Rebels finished an amazing hardwood season when it captured the provincial junior boys basketball title, trumping R.A. McMath 66-37 in Langley.

Led by tourney MVP Jareb Pineda, the team completed an undefeated season with gusto.

In the final, Burnaby South jumped out to a strong start, striding ahead 15-4 and up by 13 at halftime.

“This is by far better than winning it as a player, because I’ve now won it as a player and a coach. This is way, way more fun,” noted coach Tyus Batiste in comparing it to his win in 2013.

Earning provincial all-star honours were a pair of Grade 9s: Karan Aujla, on the first team, and guard Jimmy Zaborniak, on the second squad.


The St. Thomas More senior girls soccer team created a golden season through chemistry and hard work.

The squad overcame some adversity en route to blanking Carihi 4-0 in the 2-A provincial championship final in June, elevating their game as the tourney went on. Undefeated during the regular season, the Knights kept the momentum going into the tourney, until the semifinal when they stared at a rare deficit. Trailing 1-0 to Archbishop Carney at halftime, STM turned the page with three unanswered goals to advance to the final.

In that final showdown, the team got goals from Kyara Armenta, Kaya Crescenzo, with two, and Sara Smyth.

“It was such an amazing feeling because we deserved this championship so much,” remarked co-captain Arementa, who would scoop up a scholarship to Georgia-Gwinnett. “The way we played in the semifinal and the finals, we proved we were the best team there.”

Crescenzo was named the tourney MVP.


Resurrecting a long dormant senior boys rugby program, the players with the Byrne Creek Bulldogs uncovered both the big and small of the the task at hand during a few short months on the turf that ended in a close loss in the AA tier 2 provincial championship final in June. The team may have fell 19-10 to Sir Charles Tupper – a program with a deep history of competing in the sport – but it also set a great example as a first-year squad overcoming the odds. “It’s definitely been something special,” remarked Byrne Creek coach Moreno Stefanon. “It’s a testament of the buy-in from the kids. … I said the rugby part is the easy part. It’s getting kids to want to come to practice, to commit to something and want to learn something.”


For each of her five seasons as a member of the St. Thomas More senior wrestling team, Burnaby’s Amanda Silveri was a provincial finalist. That includes her debut season as a keen Grade 8 student, learning the finer aspects of the grip and flip game.

Getting to the final as a senior at the 2019 provincials wasn’t even in doubt. The soft-spoken 17-year-old capped her Grade 12 year with a third-straight B.C. senior girls grappling title, carting off the 110-kilogram final by pinning Chemainus’ Emily Reid.

“I’m glad things turned out the way they did because this year I had to train and prepare that much more and it motivated me to do so. … Every tournament, every match I have I can always take something from it, win or lose,” said Silveri.


Burnaby’s Octavia Lau may have not wanted to go in the pool as a five-year-old, but now it’s hard to envision her outside it, as an up-and-comer on the national stage and a freshman (last September) at the University of Michigan.

A student at New Westminster Secondary and a Hyack Swim Club athlete, Lau was just one of many Burnaby athletes to convert their sport into academic opportunities in the past year. For her, it was part of a process that didn’t have the brightest of beginnings.

“I actually highly disliked (swimming) when I was young. I was like five years old and I just kind of got into it because of my older brother,” recalls Lau. “Whatever he was put in, I was put in as well. … I gradually started to get some results and I started falling in love when I was six or seven.”


Crowned as the new Canadian Tire national junior men’s figure skating champ, Burnaby’s Aleksa Rakic did it with flair. The 14-year-old established new personal bests in both the short and free skate routines at the New Brunswick-hosted event. Rakic, a member of the Burnaby-based Champs International Skating Centre of B.C., edged out clubmate Beres Clements for the title with a final point tally of 199.10. Clements earned the silver with 191.02 points. Champs’ skater Shuma Mugii secured silver in novice men’s division, while Emily Millard placed third in novice women’s competition.


Burnaby Central’s Ryan Goudron set more than just a pace in his events at the B.C. High School track and field championships in June. The runner delivered gold medals in the junior boys 1500m steeplechase and as part of the Wildcats 4x400m medley relay team, and added silver in the 400m and 800m races. “I went in hoping to win (the 1500m steeplechase) but I knew there were faster guys in the race, who had raced quicker races,” recalled Goudron.

The Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame inducted a strong slate of new members, with soccer’s Bruce Wilson, lacrosse’s Alex Carey and Eric Cowieson, SFU softball coach Mike Renney, auto racing pioneer Al Ores, Burnaby Lake rowing Glen Smith, lacrosse builder George Pittendrigh and the 2009 Burnaby Lake Rugby Club’s premier women’s team. … Burnaby’s Sterling Middleton was a key member of Team Tardi, which captured the 2019 B.C. Junior Men’s Curling title with a 9-2 victory over Team Colwell in Vernon. Middleton, the team’s third, guided the team to a 6-0 lead early. … Burnaby’s Maximus Joe was the undisputed victor at the Elite 8 Judo national championships in Montreal. The Burnaby Judo Club member won 5-0 over his Quebec opponent in the under-18 50-kg division. Picking up silver were Ekatrina Danilkov (u18 women’s 44kg) and Emil Schenk (u18 men’s 66kg, while Rakia Lolieva scored bronze (in u18 women’s 48kg). … Starting the new year off right, Burnaby’s Jennifer Shannon secured a personal best at the University of Washington Preview track and field meet. The Trinity Western University athlete posted the mark in the women’s 800-metre event, finishing it in 2:17.98, 14th overall against many Div. 1 runners. … Burnaby South alumnus Jermaine Haley delivered the game-winning bucket, lifting his West Virginia Mountaineers past Big-12 powerhouse Kansas 65-64 in mid-January NCAA basketball action. His layup with 8.5 seconds left turned the tide for the unranked Mountaineers, giving him a team-high 13 points on the day. … The fruits of a dismal 2018 Western Lacrosse Association season paid off in February when the Burnaby Lakers used the second overall pick to grab transition player Ryland Rees of the Coquitlam jr. Adanacs. They’d also select defender Graydon Bradley with the seventh overall pick, and both would be solid contributors as rookies during the 2019 resurgence. … Burnaby Central’s Tanisha Johal emerged as a champion at the B.C. High School wrestling tournament, topping the sr. girls 40-kg division, while Gina Bolognese, of Burnaby North, in 43-kg, Marley Jackson, of Burnaby Mountain in 51-kg, and Dylan Duggan, of Burnaby Central in 51-kg, each pocketed silver. STM’s Sam Steele nailed down gold in the senior boys’ 110-kg division, while Clare Sciglione, in 54-kg, won silver. STM’s Gabriella Bellini picked up a bronze in the sr. girls 64-kg event. … The Grandview Steelers turned a disappointing finish in the regular season into a first-round stealthy play, upending higher-ranked Richmond four games to one to advance to the Pacific Junior B Hockey League semifinals. Unfortunately, their luck ran out against eventual provincial champion North Van, who would blank them 4-0 en route to a league crown. … A pair of Burnaby-based ice dancing teams skated off the Canada Winter Games ice in Red Deer with gold. Hailey Yu and Brendan Giang delivered near-perfect performance in the pre-novice ice dance division’s free skate to leap from second to first on the final day. The duo of Keira Kam and Matthew Carter followed a similar path to win the novice division title. Standing second after the pattern program, they bolted to the front of the pack with the best score in the free skate. … Burnaby’s Troy Chong helped Team B.C. take the province’s first Canada Winter Games men’s curling gold, joining skip Hayato Sato with the highest shooting percentage in the tournament. Chong would also receive the Team B.C. Athlete Excellence Award, a bursary based on leadership and community involvement. … Skiing to a gold in para Nordic cross country was Andy Lin at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. Lin won both the five-kilometre and sprint competitions. … The Burnaby South Grade 8 boys basketball team was equal to the task at the provincials, claiming the title with a thrilling 63-61 overtime win over St. Pat’s in March. Picking up the MVP award was Brady Lau, while Lex Paloma and Armaan Hehar were named all-stars. … The St. Thomas More senior girls basketball team finished the year on a winning note, beating Britannia 68-56 to place seventh at the provincial championships. Trailing by six at halftime, the Knights rallied and pulled away with a 9-2 run over the final few minutes. … Shocked a day earlier, the Burnaby South Rebels rallied to close out 2018-19 season on a winning note at the B.C. 4-A senior boys basketball championships in Langley. By beating No. 3-ranked Terry Fox 86-71, Burnaby South wrapped up a very strong season as the third-best team in the province. As defending champions, however, they had their sights set higher. A 75-64 setback in the semifinal to Lord Tweedsmuir a day earlier put them on a different course – along with the loss of star post player Sasha Vujisic, who was injured in the team’s second win of the tourney. Grade 12 post Aidan Wilson led all Rebels with 21 points, while Grade 9 call-up Karan Aujla chipped in 14 points. Earning a spot on the tourney all-star team was Grade 10 Justin Sunga (first team) and senior Baltej Sohal (second team). … The Byrne Creek Bulldogs capped a strong season by placing 10th overall at the 3-A B.C. senior boys basketball championships, falling to G.P. Vanier 74-65 in the last game. Grade 12 guard Bithow Wan ended his senior career by scoring a game-high 24 points. … The Burnaby atom A Bulldogs were in fine form during much of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association season, turning a second-place finish into a Flight 2 playoff title. In a four-way fight, the Bulldogs emerged victorious with a 3-2 win over the North Shore Winter Club. Scoring in the decisive win were Richard Frieman, Lucas Lakovic and Alexander Szabo. … Showing mid-season form, teen golfer Ilirian Zalli posted three straight rounds of 69 to capture the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Humber College PMG in Pitt Meadows. Zalli won the event by 12 strokes, and locked up a direct exemption to the 66th annual International Junior Masters in East Aurora, N.Y., as well as the B.C. junior boys golf championships. The 16-year-old finished the three-day tourney with a nine-under par 207. … Burnaby’s Robert Couzens defeated reigning B.C. welterweight champ Ilya Kovalenko in the B.C. Boxing Golden Gloves championships in March, earning the Golden Boy award in the process. “(My coach) would show me the list of names of who had won the Golden Boy title each year and it seemed to be the best-of-the-best. … I wanted to be up with those guys,” said Couzens. … … Burnaby’s Arthur Gee put on a nice display of athleticism en route to medalling at the Canadian Masters indoor track and field championships in Edmonton. Gee topped the 75-year division’s 60m dash, the triple jump and weight throw events. … Simon Fraser University welcomed a quartet of new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame in March, inducting basketball’s Joby McKenzie, track and field’s Julia Howard, soccer’s Andrew Corrazza and basketball and health-care advocate Nadine Caron. … Justin Kent made like Clark Kent’s alter ego in capturing the Vancouver Sun Run in April, finishing the 10-km course in an impressive 29.30 minutes. He edged out fellow Burnaby runner Trevor Hofbauer for the prize. Kent, a member of the national cross country team, led for much of the race, to establish a new personal best. … SFU’s Nathan Mah registered top-10 finishes in both the 100- and 200m dashes, setting personal bests on both occasions, to help a strong team performance at the Triton Invitational in San Diego. Mah, a Burnaby Central alumnus, placed sixth in the 100m with a time of 10.75 seconds, and was eighth overall with a time of 21.82 in the 200m. … Alpha Secondary’s Sava Savkovic made his return to competitive gymnastics a winning one, topping the B.C. High School championships. He recorded top marks in three of five events in Level 2, after having set aside the sport for 10 years to focus on soccer. “I learned that taking risks is a huge part of life. If you take a risk and set your mind to it, it can really pay off – especially if you’re as determined as I was.” … St. Thomas More alumnus Jon Cornish got one more moment in the spotlight. The one-time Calgary Stampeders star running back was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as part of its 2019 class of honourees. Cornish, who hung up the cleats in 2015, posted three straight 1,000-yard seasons and was one of the top Canadians in the league since being drafted in 2006. He was just the third Canadian to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award, as well as the Lou Marsh Trophy as the nation’s top athlete. … Kyle Turris and Dante Fabbro, both members of the Nashville Predators, turned that team’s disappointing early playoff exit into an international opportunity as members of Team Canada at the World Hockey championships. The pair were named to the national squad, which competed in Slovakia. Turris, who played for the Burnaby Express during its 2006 Royal Bank Cup championship, tallied four goals and five assists over 10 games, while Fabbro, a Burnaby Winter Club alumnus, scored once and set up two others. … Burnaby’s Zion Corrales Nelson wrapped up the NCAA outdoor track and field season with three gold and three personal best finishes on behalf of her University of California-Berkeley team at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. The STM alumna won the 100m dash in 11.51 seconds, jumping up to fourth in the school’s all-time list. She would also win the 200- and 400m races, with times of 23.46 and 54.41. The new time in the 200m put her second overall in UC’s all-time finishes. She was also part of the school’s win in the 4x100m relay. … Kylie Jack and Jaya Rampuri established SFU firsts this past year, becoming the first individuals from the program to qualify for the NCAA Div. 2 women’s gold championships. The pair earned the berths after strong results at the West Regionals. Jack qualified by shooting four-over-par 75 on the final day, finishing with a three-round total of 221. Rampuri put up her lowest score of the tournament, a two-over-par 73, to give her a three-day total of 222. … The NBA 2019 championship final wasn’t all about Durant vs. Kawhi, but you’re excused if you thought it was. There was also the success stories of Burnaby doctors Alex McKechnie and Rick Celebrini, who were on opposing teams in the final showdown. McKechnie’s Raptors – for whom he serves as the team’s director of sports science and assistant coach – prevailed 4-2 over Celebrini’s Warriors. The two were senior, co-founding members of the Fortius Sport and Health Centre. … Carlos Vargas won his first outdoor track and field conference title, claiming the 1500m Great Northwest Athletic Conference race in a photo finish. He completed the race in 3:54.18, just a split second quicker than teammate Rowan Doherty. Sean Miller also locked up a GNAC title, topping the 5000m event. Joining them was Julia Howley, who captured the women’s 3000m steeplechase. … The Burnaby Judo Club’s Ekaterina Danilkov doubled down when it came time to compete, capturing the top prize in both the under-16 and u18 girls divisions at the national championships in May. The 13-year-old won her u16 title in the 40km division, part of Team B.C.’s impressive 46-medal performance. … The Burnaby Barracudas summer swim club marked 60 years of hitting the water with a big reunion bash. The club, which began with lessons at Deer Lake, has grown to include water polo, speed swimming and diving. … New West’s Kate Stewart Barnett was first in a host of events to capture the heptathlon provincial title with 4241 points, edging out STM and Royal City track teammate Alicia Bremer (3973 points). Stewart Barnett’s victory in the heptathlon included firsts in high jump (1.59m) and the 800m (2:16.82), second in long jump and the 80m hurdles, and a bronze in the 200m event. …


St. Thomas More Knights captured the senior and junior girls aggregate titles at the B.C. Track and Field championships in Kelowna. Kate Stewart Barnett set the pace for the Knights, claiming gold in the jr. girls 1500m steeplechase, with a personal best time of 4:53.69, just ahead of Burnaby Mountain’s Isabella Brunoro. Barnett Stewart joined forces with Alicia Bremer, Sophia Wong and Milena Kalisch to finish second in the 4x400m relay. Senior throwers Shiloh Corrales-Nelson and Michelle Dadson, meanwhile, added a pair of medals each (silvers for Corrales-Nelson in hammer and shotput; a silver in discus and bronze in shotput for Dadman). Burnaby South’s Taya Batiste took silver in the 100m dash with a time of 12.35. Burnaby Mountain’s Kiran Wanniarachchi picked up silver in the high jump and Brandon Hsu placed third in the 400m. … Within about 24 hours Burnaby’s Massimo Rizzo got a new home and a new dream, as the hockey player was traded to the Coquitlam Express then drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL Draft. The one-time captain of the Penticton Vees had his request to be moved closer to home for his final B.C. Hockey League season granted, as he looks to bridge the gap between his final BCHL season and his first season with the University of North Dakota, beginning in Sept. 2020. … Henry Choi and Sophia Ho share something in common. The pair are repeat champions of the Burnaby Tennis Open, achieving the multi-win this past July. Choi, who entered as the top men’s open seed, had to fend off Jack Davis before taking his fourth Burnaby title. Ho, also ranked first on the women’s open side, dispatched Maryjoe Crisologo for her second crown. …The Burnaby Striders’ Brandon Hsu picked off a couple of personal bests while medal hunting at the B.C. Athletics Championship Jamboree. The teen topped the u16 100m, the 200m and the 300m. Hsu added a silver in the long jump to complete a strong weekend. … The Burnaby District Metro Selects were up for the challenge, edging Lakehill-Gorge 2-1 to claim the Provincial A under-16 boys soccer Cup. Scoring for Burnaby were Haris Hussaini and Joey Cannova. … Kendall Ryan added the Giro di Burnaby to her successful week of wins, taking the women’s pro cycling title and adding it to previous wins at the Tour de Delta and Gastown Grand Prix. She outlasted the field over the 40-lap, 45.6-km course in the Heights, beating fellow Californian Holly Breck in the stretch drive. “I chased down two last-minute attacks on the last lap, held those gals pretty quickly and just launched my own sprint after closing those gaps,” Ryan said. On the men’s pro side, New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart reclaimed the Burnaby title after last year’s absence, fending off charges from Germany’s Marcel Franz and American Samuel Bassetti. “We had a few cards out there to play,” said the 21-year-old Stewart. “We knew it could be a breakaway so I did try to push for that.”… As the last line of defence, Burnaby’s Max Anchor is use to pressure situations. He accepted his latest assignment when it was announced he had made Canada’s under-15 boys national soccer team for the 2019 CONCACAF championships. … The Burnaby midget B Lakers were up for the challenge, knocking off their rivals en route to winning the provincial title in July. They defeated PoCo 5-3 in the final. … It all came down to one game, and the Burnaby senior A Lakers fell one-goal shy of their goal. The team, itching to make a return to the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs after a one-year absence, fell just short after battling Nanaimo to an 8-8- tie at the Copeland Arena. A win would have leapfrogged them past Nanaimo for the final playoff berth, but the Lakers, who posted a reasonable record over the year, couldn’t get a ninth goal past Timbermen netminder Charles Claxton. The team would get its recognition in league hardware, however, with Robert Church walking off with the Commission MVP Trophy as the league’s MVP, while Church (first team), netminder Eric Penney and captain Dane Stevens (second team) received all-star honours. Coach Peter Tellis was named coach of the year. … Burnaby ball hockey ref Darsh Grewall received an unusual cat call – actually just a call to join the game’s elite in the Canadian Ball Hockey Hall of Fame. The longtime ball hockey official has retired from international on-floor work, and now serves as the national referee-in-chief. … John Wilson and Paul Dal Monte earned their spot in the game’s most prestigious place, getting named to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame for 2019. Wilson was recognized for his offensive prowess and standout career over 14 seasons, where he produced 992 points over 394 games. Dal Monte, the current WLA commissioner, was named to the hall in the builders’ category, for his work as coach at a variety of levels, including as co-architect of the Burnaby junior Lakers’ Minto Cup run from 1998 to 2002. … Team B.C. stepped up and dominated the show with a gold medal win at the national female midget lacrosse championships. . They put the exclamation point on their win by blanking Ontario 8-0 in the final. Burnaby’s Emily Kuhn and Ava Regan played key roles in the victory. … The B.C. boys bantam lacrosse team pushed it all the way to the final, with only Ontario getting between them and a gold medal. B.C.’s silver came after an 8-3 loss in the final, where New West’s Reid Hinds-MacDonald tallied twice. Over the tourney, Burnaby’s Ryden Evers counted two goals and five assists, while Jeremy Launt added a goal and three assists. It was a similar result for the B.C. boys midget team, which finished second after falling 12-7 to Ontario. Team captain Jordan Gabriele and netminder Marc Russell-Rippberger, both of Burnaby, played key roles over the tourney. … Burnaby Lake Rowing Club’s Madison Mailey and Stephanie Grauer were onboard in helping Team Canada qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women’s four boat. The Canadians placed second in the B final at the world rowing championships in Austria. … Burnaby’s Paige Misfeldt added a bounty of gold for her collection as part of the Canadian dragon boat racing team at the International world championships in Thailand. Her three-gold, two bronze stay included a new world record in the 200m premier women’s grand final, with the first-ever sub-46-second time. … The Burnaby Sangha sisters celebrated a well-deserved national U-Sport women’s soccer championship with the rest of their UBC teammates in November, after squeaking past Calgary 1-0 in the final. Fourth-year veteran Anisha Sangha was a settling force over the long run to the championship. A second-year midfielder, Janika Sangha was named UBC’s player of the game in the quarterfinal win over Montreal. She would also be named to the all-star team. … The Moscrop senior boys soccer team went from not having a team to being the league’s best in just a few months. The Panthers claimed the Burnaby-New West league banner as well as the Fraser North District title to advance to the provincial championships. When the final whistle sounded, Moscrop walked off with a 3-1 win over Abbotsford to place ninth at the provincials. Zachariah Thomas would receive the tourney’s Golden Boot award for most goals scored. … The St. Thomas More Knights’ season may not have ended as they hoped, but it did have some brilliant highlights as they marched all the way to the B.C. Subway Bowl football semifinals. Going undefeated in league play, the Knights enjoyed a hot second half in the quarterfinals with a thrilling come-from-behind 24-21 victory over the defending champion Mt. Doug Rams. Nick Osho’s touchdown with two minutes remaining gave the team the lead and ticket to the semifinal. Their season would end a week later, when eventual provincial champion Vancouver College handed them their lone loss of the season. … Burnaby’s Al Mawani was honoured by Badminton B.C. with a High Performance coach award. The founder and driving force behind the Shuttlesport Badminton Academy in PoCo was joined in the honour circle by Joy Liu as the junior athlete of the year. … The Canadian men’s field hockey team secured a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a shootout victory over Ireland in a qualifying match played in West Vancouver. The national team’s lineup includes Burnaby’s Gabriel Ho-Garcia and New West’s Brenden Bissett. … The end-of-season gridiron awards were handed out, with STM's Kaishaun Carter picking up the prime 3-A Defensive MVP honour. The Grade 12 lineman proved a dominating force throughout the season, corralling 32 tackles and five quarterback sacks. Picking up all-star awards were linebacker Jack Wagner, who registered 40 solo tackles on the year, and defensive back Rickey Parsons, who pulled down seven interceptions, and returned four of them for touchdowns. Osho was named a Top Grade 11. ... Closing out the season with a 1-0 penalty kick victory, the Alpha Aztecs senior boys soccer team finished the B.C. 2-A provincials in seventh place. It came on the heels of another 1-0 decision just a week earlier, over Archbishop Carney, securing the Fraser North 2-A title and a spot to the provincials. … The Burnaby Central Wildcats clawed their way to twin Burnaby-New West senior volleyball league titles in November. The senior girls vanquished rival Burnaby North 3-0 to take the crown, powered by some strong contributions from captain Anna Park and libero Megan Cao. North placed Audrey Tsung and Taylor Tucci on the all-star team. The girls would go on to defeat Riverside 3-1 to pick up another banner, this time for the inaugural Fraser North District title, before placing 11th at the 4-A provincials. On the boys side, Burnaby Central stared down a solid rally by Moscrop to capture the league title with a 3-1 decision in the final. They’d face tougher tests at the B.C.s, finishing in 19th position. … The Alpha Aztecs were able to bounce back in the final test of the senior boys 2-A volleyball provincials, beating Prince Charles 2-0 to place 15th overall. It ended a five-game skid, many of the tight variety. …. Burnaby’s Hanif Mawji used overtime to wrap up another national boccia title. The BC1 category boccia player defeated Ontario’s Lance Cryderman in the final showdown. It came on the heels of an earlier win by the long-time national team member, as Mawji captured gold at the Defi Sportif Open. … SFU's Olivia Willett made it three times the charm, advancing to the NCAA cross country national championships in Sacramento. The third-year athlete qualified by placing third overall at the West Regionals. ... At the B.C. High School cross country championships in Abbotsford, STM’s Kate Stewart Barnett put in a big charge and finished third overall, with a time of 18.15 minutes, just behind L.V. Rogers’ Madelyn Bonikowsky’s winning 17.39. … The St. Thomas More Knights junior football team did what its senior compatriots couldn’t – beat Vancouver College. By out-lasting the Fighting Irish 24-21 at B.C. Place, STM carted off the Grade 8 gridiron provincial banner, thanks to a late score by Matthew Custodio with just 20 seconds to play. … Burnaby’s Christine Sinclair proved an obvious choice when it came for Soccer Canada to name a Player of the Decade. The national team captain accounted for a majority of the team’s offence during the past 10 years, and has been a staple on the national team since getting called up in 2000 as a 16-year-old. She currently sits one-goal back for all-time international goals with 184.