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LVR's Madelyn Bonikowsky captures Provincial Championship; Bomber Boys claim Team Silver

Madelyn Bonikowsky became the first female runner from LVR to capture a BC High School Girl's X-Country Title. — Submitted photo

Madelyn Bonikowsky culminated an amazing season on the cross country circuit by capturing the gold medal in the Senior Girl’s Division at the 2019 BC High School X-Country Championships Saturday in Abbotsford.

Bonikowsky, who moved to Nelson from Delta this past summer with her twin brother Jacob, won the five kilometer race in a time of 17 minutes, 39 seconds.

“This is the first time a girl from LVR has ever won the provincial title,” said Bomber coach Alex Ulaszonek.

Second was Kendra Lewis of Vancouver Technical at 18:01 with Katelyn Stewart-Barnett of St. Thomas Moore third at 18:15.

Ulaszonek said provincial title capped off a great season for the Grade 11 runner.

Bonikowsky started the season by placing third in the Nike high school race in Spokane back in September but hasn’t lost a race since.

Bonikowsky won the Pasco, Washington Big Cross race, and followed that up by consistently winning all the high school races in the Kootenay region.

Prior to the provincials in Abbotsford, Bonikowsky won the 5km race in Victoria.

Meanwhile, on the boy’s side of the competition, the Bombers captured the silver medal in the team competition.

The team of Matti Erickson, Jacob Bonikowsky, Brody Jensen, Madelyn Bonikowsky, Stevie McCulloch, Jasper Ander, Dylan Gyr and Locke Finley combined for a time of 1:09.07 to finish in the runnerup spot to John Barsby of Nanaimo.

Handsworth of North Vancouver was third.

“The senior boy’s race was a great shot in the arm for the boy’s team since there has never been a boys team place in the medals for LVR at the provincials,” said Ulaszonek.

Jacob Bonikowsky finishing in a time of 16:46, led the Bombers with a 12-place showing.

Two-time Junior Division winner, Matti Erickson, had an off-day, finishing 15th overall in a time of 16:50.

Other Bomber results had Dylan Gyr 45th; Brody Jensen 77th; Jasper Ander 101st; Locke Finley 134th; and Stevie McCulloch 152nd.

Jaiveer Tiwana of Surrey’s Fleetwood Park won the race in a time of 15:44. Keaton Heisterman of Brentwood College was second at 15:58 with Jonah Brost of Stellys Secondary third at 15:59. All three runners are Grade 12s.

“This result bodes well for the future as scoring runners for the LVR team, Dylan Gyr, Brody Jensen and Locke Finley will all be back next year, along with Erickson and Bonikowsky,” Ulaszonek explained.

“Only Jasper Ander and Stevie McCulloch graduate.”

2019 BC High School X-Country Championship Silver medal winning LVR Bombers include, back row, L-R, Matti Erickson, Jacob Bonikowsky, Brody Jensen, (Provincial Girl’s Winner) Madelyn Bonikowsky and Stevie McCulloch. Front, Jasper Ander, Dylan Gyr and Locke Finley. — Submitted photo