Gabriele Weichert

Gabriele Weichert

New prince crowned at Run for the Mountain

NANAIMO – Nic Ascui was fastest to the finish line at the annual six-kilometre race at Westwood Lake on Saturday morning.

There’s a new Prince of Westwood as a Dover Bay teen won the Run for the Mountain again this year.

Nic Ascui was fastest to the finish line at the annual six-kilometre race at Westwood Lake on Saturday morning, setting a new youth-division record of 20 minutes, 11 seconds.

Dover swept the podium as Ascui’s LazerHawks teammates Thomas and Peter Oxland finished second and third, respectively, in 20:50 and 20:57.

“I knew one of us was going to come out [on top] so it was good that we had a good race,” Ascui said.

The 17-year-old said training had been going well, so he developed a race plan to go for the win.

“My idea was just to go really hard and try and drop everyone in 3K, then hopefully no one would catch me at the end,” Ascui said.

Shelby Drope, who won the men’s division in 21:09, kept pace for the first kilometre and the Oxland twins stayed with Ascui for the first half of the race.

“I thought if I made it up the hill and no one passed me, I knew I was going to win,” Ascui said. “But I was a little scared on the hill. I didn’t know how close they were.”

Royd Burkart of Port Alberni won the masters division in 21:34.

Erin Burrett is Queen of Westwood for a sixth straight year; though she isn’t fully recovered from injury, she ran the loop in 23:47 to defend her title. The female youth and masters winners from last year also defended their crowns, with teen Madison Heisterman finishing in 25:14 and Wendy Simms finishing in 25:20.

The run/walk event is a fundraiser for Mt. Benson Wilderness Park.

Results include:

Nic Ascui, 20:11; Thomas Oxland, 20:50; Peter Oxland, 20:57; Miles Huynh, 20:59; Shelby Drope, 21:09; Sean Miller, 21:29; Royd Burkart, 21:34; Yann Bernaquez, 21:37; Richard Light, 21:58; Josh Bailey, 21:59; Gareth Saunders, 22:24; Erin Burrett, 23:47; Stefan Jakobsen, 24:17; Damian Allen, 24:23; Yosef Bassett, 24:29; Orphee Bernard, 24:55; Jacob Bassett, 24:57; Nate Seaman, 24:58; Christopher Redden, 24:58; Darren Seaman, 25:04; Linden Kaps, 25:06; Jackson Isnor, 25:06; Desnerge Zvonarova, 25:13; Madison Heisterman, 25:14; Nathan Macgougan, 25:18; Wendy Simms, 25:20; Carter Higgins, 25:46.