Surrey’s Jaiveer Tiwana is the fastest cross-country runner in the nation among U18 Men.
The Fleetwood-area teen won the division’s 6KM Canadian cross-country title on Saturday (Nov. 30) with a time of 18:42.52 at Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Park.
The 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships were held at the same park where Tiwana, 17, won the provincial title on Nov. 2.
A Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, Tiwana ran at nationals as a member of South Surrey-based Coastal Track Club.
Coach Scott Kent said it’s significant that Tiwana is the first Indo-Canadian runner from B.C. to win a national title in cross-country.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment for him, especially because he’s been running competitively for only four years,” Kent said on Monday.
“He coasted the last 50 metres with his hands in the air, because he knew he’d won,” Kent added. “He was pretty excited, and we all were.”
On a cold day on hard ground, Tiwana’s race was similar to the one he ran at high school provincials early last month.
“Our strategy was exactly same, for him to make his move on the hill, the same spot as last time, with about a K to go,” his coach revealed.
With a national championship to his credit, Tiwana can look forward to signing with a university of his choice in the U.S., Kent said. “A national title should give him that option, no question,” Kent explained.
At provincials, Tiwana made Fleetwood Park history as the only male Dragon to ever win the B.C. Cross-Country Championships.
The provincial win came just one week after he won the BC Clubs Cross Country Championship in Saanich.
Tiwana was in Grade 9 when got started in cross-country running, after a one-time try in Grade 8. At provincials, he’s climbed the ladder to the top, starting with a 79th-place finish in Grade 9, a fifth-place result in Grade 10 and, last year, a fourth-place finish.
Among other Coastal results at nationals, Kent said Viviana Li, also a Fleetwood Park student-athlete, finished eighth in the U16 Girls race, and Hudson Irvine (Earl Marriott Secondary) was 12th among U16 Boys.
In Abbotsford, hundreds of runners hit the trails on Saturday. The meet crowned individual champions in masters, U16, U18, U20, para and senior divisions, and team championships in U18, U20 and senior.