BY IAN THORPE
Each fall, athletes from our school system take part in cross-country running programs. At the secondary school level, Island and B.C. championships for this year have now taken place and several Nanaimo teams were involved. Special congratulations go to the junior girls’ squad from Nanaimo District Secondary who raced to a provincial cross-country title in Vancouver. Bobbie Taylor was coach for the winning team, consisting of grade 8-10 NDSS athletes Bailey Rossnagel, Kyra Gillette, Kate Cameron, Kai Belbin, Ava Alexander and Erin Jensen.
Meanwhile, younger runners from our area were also in action recently when the Nanaimo District Elementary Cross-Country Championships were held at Beban Park.
Six races were run in the annual event, involving approximately 450 participants from more than two dozen schools that had earlier qualified from various zone meets. Eileen Jubinville and Lonny Sullivan were the district meet coordinators, assisted by a large number of volunteers. My thanks to Doug English for sending along results…
Tyke runners (born 2008-09) ran a 1.5-kilometre distance. In the girls’ race, Desiree Parker from Frank J. Ney captured first place. Scarlet Hotredt of McGirr was the runner-up, with Mountain View athlete Ava Gauthier third. Hammond Bay’s Lia Russel took fourth place and Maddie Palmer from Chase River was fifth.
The tyke boys’ title went to Riley Steen of Ladysmith Intermediate, who finished ahead of Hammond Bay’s Jordan Puckering and Gabriola’s Abdullah Al Merbed. Mountain View runners Coleson Chase and Kalem Chatlain were fourth and fifth.
For peewee (born 2006-07) athletes, the route measured two kilometres. First to finish in the girls’ race was Haley Martin from Quarterway. In second was Aynsley Norman of Mountain View, followed by Hammond Bay’s Avery Henderson. Fourth spot went to Kaitlyn Putz from Cinnabar Valley, with Lucy Merril from McGirr claiming fifth overall.
Pleasant Valley competitor Rylan Clark was fastest in the peewee boys’ race, ahead of teammate Nolan Galloway. Evan Young from Mountain View was third, Dallas Cloke of Ladysmith Intermediate fourth and Aiden Gutierrez from Frank J. Ney fifth.
Bantam (born 2004-05) runners in the cross-country championships raced 2.5km. Sebryn Wear from Park Avenue took first place in the girls’ division. Sophia Ledingham representing École Pauline Haarer was second and Kiera Murphy from Mountain View third. Fourth place went to McGirr runner Samantha Jones and fifth to Sophie Hyman from Cedar Intermediate.
The bantam boys’ race resulted in a district title for Patrick Canning from Park Avenue, who finished ahead of Quarterway’s Dylan Barberie. Toby Russel of Gabriola claimed third place, while fourth and fifth went to Pauline Haarer runners Bailey Stetar and Zachary Croome.
Points earned by individual runners in all races counted toward overall team standings at the event. The tabulated results gave Mountain View Elementary the Barry Saunders Memorial Trophy as top large school in the district. Hammond Bay was runner-up, followed by Quarterway.
For smaller schools, the Tom Krall Trophy went to Pauline Haarer. Chase River placed second overall, then Cilaire.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.