The WPGA Wolves are One Strong Pack

Perfectly located in the middle of trails and beautiful green spaces such as Jericho Beach Park, Pacific Spirit Regional Park and Camosun Park, it is no wonder West Point Grey Academy is a power house when it comes to distance running. If we take a small step back and just look at last year's results from the 2022 BC High School XC Championships, WPGA placed second in the Senior Girls, Senior Boys and Junior Girls team standings. They also had three individuals who cracked the top 20. Not to mention during the earlier half of the season, they won multiple division titles at the Steilacoom and Mt. SAC meets in the USA. With that all being said, the school also shows its range when it comes to track and field, being home to numerous individual medalists across running, jumping and throwing events. 

I caught up with Head Cross Country Coach, Sean Dawson, about his role within the program, the depth of the WPGA Wolves, in addition to the impact he hopes to have on his athletes after they move on from high school sports. Dawson has shared the role of Co-Head Cross Country Coach with Susan Kimura for over 12 years. At a moment in time he was also Co-Head Track and Field Coach, alongside Nadia Brenko, until Gillian Wright took on the role. That being said he remained on as assistant coach, working with the distance group and relay squads. When it comes to track and field the coaching staff is also made up of John Garinger, Elena Voloshin and various alumni.

"Looking at cross country, Susan and I make a really good partnership. We split the duties where our strengths lie. Our athletes train Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday as a team and then depending on where athletes are in terms of their season and mileage, off day runs may be added in."

So far this 2023 season the girls won a team title at the Nike Hole in The Wall Invitational in Washington, which had over 3,800 athletes participate. Additionally, all divisions showed consistency and strength throughout the LMISSAA League Meets in preparation for the BC XC Championship Season. At last week's Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Championship the Senior Boys pulled off an impressive podium sweep in the AA division,  which included Andrew Neill, Cole Timko and Spencer Blomerus. Rachel Milau took individual bronze in the Senior Girls AA division, en route to helping WPGA secure gold in the Senior Girls AA team event as well. The Junior Girls followed suit also taking the win as a team. 

"The season has been going really well. Both the Junior Boys and Senior Boys are looking strong, they are firing on all cylinders. As for the girls, we haven't had everyone together as the same race yet, so I am excited to see what they can do, especially after the success they have had at meets in the USA. I love that we get the opportunity to go across the border, they are always great team bonding trips and the kids get put in really competitive situations."