UBC swept the top three spots in the women’s 1,500-metre event, with Madelyn Huston ofMaple Ridge finishing second, and Jamie Hennessey of Maple Ridge third. (Richard Lam/UBC)

Ridge runners help pace UBC

Mikayla Tinkham, a junior from Maple Ridge, records ‘A’ time in 5,000m.

Two runners from Maple Ridge helped the Thunderbirds sweep the top three spots in the women’s 1,500-metre event at the UBC Open at Rashpal Dillon Oval on Saturday.

First-year athlete Gabrielle Joffe crossing the line first in the 1,500 for UBC in 4:39.22, with Madelyn Huston of Maple Ridge right behind, exactly half a second later. Jamie Hennessey of Maple Ridge completed the top-three sweep.

Both Joffe and Huston set ‘B’ standard times with their runs at the first outdoor meet of the season.

‘A’ standards qualify for the NAIA championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama in late May.

“In my four years here, I have to think this is likely the best opening day we’ve had in terms of qualifying people to Alabama,” said UBC head coach Laurier Primeau. “It’s a really good start, but it is just a start, and now it’s time for us to think forward to the meet at western Washington and beyond.”

Hundreds of athletes from dozens of schools and athletic clubs from across the Pacific Northwest attended the annual early-season meet at Point Grey, including 62 from UBC.

In the women’s 5,000 metres, Mikayla Tinkham, a junior from Maple Ridge, finished third in her group with an ‘A’ standard time of 17:09.07.

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