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Two Coquitlam runners track down gold at cross country nationals

Ella Kalnins and Ella Madsen represented Team B.C. in Ottawa and earned the most points to claim the branch divisional title.

A tale of two Ellas....and no, that's not the start of a Frozen song.

But, together with their teammates, Coquitlam runners Ella Madsen and Ella Kalnins iced out the competition last month at the 2022 Canadian Cross Country Championships.

The two brought back a gold medal around their necks from Ottawa, helping Team B.C. reach the top of the podium in the under-18 girls branch event that pinned province against province.

Madsen, a Riverside Secondary student, clocked B.C.'s third-best time of 15:23 in four kilometres — 31 seconds behind lead Ruby Broadbent of Victoria.

Kalnins of Gleneagle Secondary crossed the finish line at 16:51.

Prior to travelling east, Madsen claimed silver at the B.C. club track and field championships with the Coquitlam Cheetahs in the under-18 girls 2,000m steeplechase.

As well, the 17-year-old won bronze in the senior girls 1,500m steeplechase at the high school track and field provincials.

She earned fifth in the cross-country high school championships with a time of 17:59, seven seconds shy of reaching the podium.

Madsen also crossed the finish line first for Riverside, helping them claim eighth in the team competition.

Madsen won the junior girls' individual title at the 2019 B.C. championships, as well as senior girls' gold at last year's Fraser North regionals.

Kalnins wasn't too far behind Madsen with an individual effort of 19:11 and one spot behind the top 10 runners at provincials.

Also a Coquitlam Cheetahs member, her time provided a cushion for the Gleneagle Talons to claim seventh in the overall contest.

Kristen Lee of Port Coquitlam was also in the Canada's capital for the national championships.

She finished 15th out of nearly 80 competitors in the open women 10-kilometre race, representing Vancouver's Mile2Marathon club.