The pinnacle of the cross-country racing season culminated in Clearbrook Park in Abbotsford Saturday, November 5th. Twelve athletes joined the Zone 8 bus from the Peace Region. This included three area schools, South Peace, Electric Ed and Tumbler Ridge. Other schools that represented the Zone 8 racers hailed from the Prince George, Quesnel and Nechako Valley school districts.
The boys from SPSS were faced with two runners unable to join the team at the championship meet. This meant that the boys were unable to field a team. Despite this roadblock, the remaining four runners refocused their race and focused on their individual capabilities. Justin Black, who demonstrated leadership on the team all season, continued to provide guidance for those around him. In his final High School Championships he provided the top placing among our local boys in 72nd. This was also the second fastest runner among Zone 8 athletes. Michael Ross pulled out a strong performance, improving on his zones race time and completed a top 90th placing in his first ever provincials. Another top 100 place was turned in by Sebastian Miller. In his final year of high school racing he improved over 6:00 from his initial appearance in the provincial championships in 2001. Tumbler Ridge?s Daniel Helm showed great potential for the future with a 150th place in his preliminary provincials. Next year?s grade twelve leader, Shane Vandewater, had his strongest race of the season and a respectable 170th placing. Returning to the course of his first provincials, Jason Hogberg finished 193rd in a time of 26:51.
The girl?s race also brought pride to the finish line. Fiona Benson improved three minutes from last week?s race to place 50th. In her grade 8 year, this is an amazing feat. Team leader and late season ?surger? Sara Irvine turned in a great performance at 83rd. With this, she completed her final provincial cross-country race and has left a terrific legacy for girls in Dawson Creek. Also leaving it all on the course was Larissa Lukac finishing just five seconds back of her teammate in 85th. Serreana Sluggett showed a solid effort from the gun to the line and completed her third provincials race in 21:03 and 202nd place. Pamela Miller and Tiffany Hetenyi battled out the final 300m together to push each other across the finish line in just over 23 minutes. The girls finished the event with a team score of 555 and a placing of 20th.
The defending boy?s champions from SPSS found some satisfaction in seeing the 2005 championship go to the young team from Smithers. This keeps the X-C Cup in the north of BC, while the second place team was St. George?s and earning third was Oak Bay.
In the girl?s team totals the Quesnel girl?s team from our own Zone 8 achieved 10th place. The medaling teams included Oak Bay in first, GP Vanier captured a silver medal and the bronze was awarded to York House.
The athletes would like to thank the local support of the Foresters. $500 was given to the team from the local community group to support their province-wide event. The coaching staff and runners would also like to recognize the amazing support of their schools. Without this, our goals and dreams could not be sought after.
Justin BlackSPSS72nd 24:04
Mike RossEE88th 24:21
Sebastian MillerSPSS94th 24:29
Daniel HelmTR150th 25:28
Shane VandewaterSPSS170th 25:55
Jason HogbergSPSS193rd 26:51
Fiona BensonEE50th 18:11
Sara IrvineSPSS83rd 18:52
Larissa LukacSPSS85th 18:57
Serreana SluggettSPSS202nd 21:03
Tiffany HetenyiSPSS232nd 23:18
SPSS Team20th 555 points