Ideal conditions greeted the field for the first North Zone high school cross-country running meet held Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.
The meet was hosted by Vernon Secondary School.
”It was a perfect afternoon for racing in the park,” said race director Mark Bendall of VSS. “No bears, no lost runners, no wind rain or darkness, and a huge pack of keen young athletes.
”With 101 finishers, from 11 schools, this was the most runners I can recall.”
The junior runners began the meet with a nail-biting finish. Kian Smith from Salmon Arm Secondary’s J.L. Jackson campus finished the four-kilometre route in 16 minutes 7 seconds, one second ahead of Luke Askechell of Vernon’s W.L. Seaton Secondary.
Mowi Arora of Seaton was third at 16:20, Max Kalkins of Jackson was fourth in 16:34, and Jacob Girard of Seaton, in 16:46, edged teammate Simon Heidt by one second for fifth place.
Ian Orchard of Shuswap Middle School was seventh overall, and the first Grade 8 runner to finish, in 16:55 (Grade 8 runners are grouped in with juniors). Teammate Jared Peterson was second (11th overall) in 18:08.
Maya Royale of Revelstoke Secondary won the four-kilometre junior girls race in 16 minutes 29 seconds, beating Kiara Pighin of Fulton Secondary in Vernon by 39 seconds. Madeleine Wilke from Salmon Arm Secondary’s J.L. Jackson campus was tied for third at 17:54 with Revelstoke’s Zoey Crosby, who was the first Grade 8 finisher.
Lucy King of JLJ rounded out the top-five in 17:59. Vernon’s Euia Palmer-Bird of Seaton Secondary was sixth, and the second Grade 8 finisher, in 18:08.
Senior runners went five kilometres, highlighted by a photo finish in each division.
Salmon Arm Secondary swept the top-six placings in the senior boys race, won by Sam Calkins in a photo finish over Frankie Ayotte. Both were clocked at 20:47. Jonathan Brevgem was third in 22:25.
Tom Paternotte of Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Secondary School finished seventh in 26:23.
Mishka Parilak of Seaton (24:28) edged cross-town rival Isabella Pigeon of Fulton by one second in the senior girls race. Siri Dausend of Seaton was third in 24:53. Taylor Menzies of Salmon Arm Secondary placed fourth in 25:07, teammate Caillie Vicars was fifth in 25:26, one second fater than Angel Loseth of Vernon Secondary.
Parilak and Calkins each took home a running shirt/shorts/socks/gift certificate from Vernon’s Starting Block.
The North Zone schedule heads to Revelstoke this coming Wednesday, Oct. 5, and returns to the Greater Vernon area with a run through Ellison Park Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The zone championships are slated for Salmon Arm Wednesday, Oct. 19, and the Okanagan finals will be in West Kelowna Tuesday, Oct. 25.
The provincial championships are slated for Victoria and Royal Roads University Saturday, Nov. 5.
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