Lord Byng won its third consecutive city cross-country championship last week, placing four boys and three girls in the top eight of their respected races at the public school meet.
To crown the achievement, brother and sister duo Braeden and Calli Charlton each ran for a first-place finish. The both beat their closest competitor by half a minute, putting them in the race for a top five finish at the B.C. championships Saturday in Prince George.
"I had someone on my tail for the first half and then I just decided to kick it hard," said Calli, who finished in the top 5 last year as a Grade 8 student.
She turns 13 on Tuesday and raced the 3.8 kilometre course at Fraser View Golf Course in 14 minutes, 54.02 seconds and out-paced her closest competitor, Charlotte Forbes of Prince of Wales, by 31 seconds. Eric Hamber's Danielle Ogilvie chased down third place in a time of 15: 32.49.
The boys race, a 7.6 km course around the public golf course, began once the girls crossed the finish line.
The Lord Byng harriers and Braeden, Calli's 17-year-old brother, had the girls' success on their minds.
"That pushed our guys' team to do that much better. All the guys on the team had spectacular runs," said Braeden, a Grade 12 student. "I thought it was a really good influence on us."
But Braeden wasn't anticipating a first-place finish. He thought it would go to his friend and rival Treavor Knechtel from Prince of Wales.
"I wasn't really expecting it because [...] we're normally top two and he normally just gets me out at the end," said Braeden.
"He was on me, too, this time and then in the last lap, I lost him. I was surprised and excited at the same time because it was like a family win."
Knechtel, who was recovering from a recent bicycle accident, finished second, 29 seconds behind Braeden who won with a time of 26: 55.99. Carsten Lapointe of Van Tech finished third in 28: 17.31.
"I'm really proud of the way my team stepped up this year," Braeden said of the boys squad.
"Last year we finished [seventh] in B.C. as a team and I'm thinking this year if we really push it, we can probably go top two."
The cross-country team at Lord Byng is coached by Sara Neil and Byron Jack. The boys finished seventh in the province last year and the girls came 14th overall.
"Despite winning the combined title several times, I believe that this is the first time that Byng has won the girls and boys title's in the same year," said Jack. "But it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of luck - having enough talented runners, no injuries - to give yourself a chance for a top 5 spot or even a top 3 spot.
In 1980, the Byng boy's were first in the province, running for legendary rugby athlete and coach Spence McTavish."
Neil said Calli and Braeden are "truly a pleasure to coach," he said.
The pair also train with Thunderbirds Track and Field. "They set the bar high during workouts for the rest of the team. At practices they get the job done without a complaint and lead by example," he added.