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North Van's Charlie Dannatt wins his first NCAA cross-country race

Handsworth grad claims top spot as SFU runners finish first through fifth at San Francisco State Invitational
Charlie Dannatt leads the pack at the San Francisco State Invitational cross-country race, Oct. 7, 2022. | San Francisco State Athletics

North Vancouver runner Charlie Dannatt claimed his first win in an NCAA cross-country race last week, taking top spot in the San Francisco State Invitational.

The Handsworth grad finished first in the eight-kilometre race in what was a dominant performance for the Simon Fraser University men’s team on Friday (Oct. 7). The first five runners across the finish line were all Red Leafs, giving SFU a perfect score of 15 points in the team event. Dannatt clocked a time of 24 minutes 42.7 seconds to record the win.

It was another impressive result for Dannatt, who raced to fame in 2017 when he smashed a 42-year-old record in the 3,000-metre race at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships, beating the old mark by more than six seconds.

Last year, Dannatt won bronze at the GNAC men’s cross-country championships, helping the Simon Fraser University men’s team claim the conference title for the first time in team history.

A North Shore runner also paced the SFU women’s team at last week’s San Francisco State Invitational, with West Vancouver Secondary grad Megan Roxby finishing sixth, helping the Red Leafs earn a third-place showing in the team competition.

The next competition for the Red Leafs will be the NCAA Division II Pre-Nationals meet on Oct. 22 at the Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place, Wash. It will be SFU’s final regular-season race before the Great Northwest Athletic Championships on Nov. 5 in Monmouth, Ore.