BY IAN THORPE
For the first time in the past two years, athletes in local schools have been able to compete in cross country running programs. This week we recap some of the best performances…
At the high school level, a number of teams from Nanaimo secondary schools qualified to compete at the provincial B.C. High School Cross-Country Championships held in Vancouver.
The best result came in the junior girls’ division, where the Nanaimo District Secondary team finished fourth overall. Top individuals on the team were Brea Gillette who placed 34th, Ava Gauthier 35th and Haley Martin 78th overall. In the junior boys’ competition, Aidan Gutierrez from Dover Bay finished 18th and Kenny Ledingham from NDSS also finished in the top 100 at 96th.
In the senior girls’ competition, top local performances came from Jada Kameran of Nanaimo Christian School who was 59th and Aspengrove’s Megan Saunders at 89th overall. The senior boys’ division featured strong local representation, with the NDSS team claiming seventh place. A number of local runners placed in the top 100 of individual results. Dylan Barberie from NDSS was 26th, followed by Niall O’Hara and Jake Putz from John Barsby Secondary at 29th and 30th respectively. Then came Dover Bay’s Mateo Moore in 33rd, Kynan Shurniak from NDSS 40th, Barsby’s Jayden Watson 69th and Zachary Croome from NDSS 75th in the strong provincial field.
Meanwhile, top younger runners from our elementary schools took part in the Nanaimo District Elementary Cross-Country Championships which were revived this year following COVID cancellations. Organizers were led by Lonny Sullivan and Alana Lavery, assisted by a team of volunteers including Stefan Jakobson and Norm Thibault from Frontrunners.
Tykes (born 2012-13) ran a 1.5km distance. In the girls’ race, Liz Maughan from Chase River was first, followed by Cilaire teammates Claire Hildebrand and Bridget Booi. Winner of the tyke boys’ race was Max Peacock representing Randerson Ridge. Runner-up was Curtis Gross of Departure Bay, with McGirr’s Cooper Ostergaard third.
For peewee (born 2010-11) athletes, the race route measured two kilometres. First to the finish line in the girls’ race was Azure Turner from Quarterway. In second was Megan James from Chase River. She was followed by Quarterway runner Ruby Allison in third. Frank J. Ney competitor Bodin Olson was fastest in the peewee boys’ race. Chase River’s Mack Drinnan was the runner-up. Third spot went to Carter Cunning.
Bantam (born 2009) runners in the district cross-country championships raced a distance of 2.5km. Rylee Wing from Ladysmith Intermediate claimed first place in the girls’ division. Sumalee Martinflatt and Avery Klan, both from Quarterway, were second and third respectively. The bantam boys’ race resulted in a district title for Jaxon Clark from Pleasant Valley, who finished ahead of Tye Vanden Elsen from McGirr. Ryland Peters of Seaview was third.
Points earned by individual runners in all races counted toward overall team standings at the meet. The tabulated results gave Quarterway the honour of being top school overall. Chase River was second in team points and Pleasant Valley was third.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.