For 14 year old Daniel Helm, qualifying for the provincial cross country running finals was the culmination of a season of intense training. Daniel and twenty-one athletes from Dawson Creek traveled to Quesnel for the Zone 8 (North Central BC) finals on Sunday October 30 in the hope of qualifying.

BC is divided into eight zones, and only the top fifteen finishers in the boys? and girls? zone race get to go to provincials. Each race was about forty deep, making for intense competition. Daniel ran hard on the undulating 6 km course in 22 minutes 58 seconds and managed to grab a gold medal for his age group and come in tenth overall.

The Dawson Creek Cross Country running team, along with their coaches Mrs. Macdonald and Mr. Kolkea, have been a tremendous support to Daniel and his coaches in Tumbler Ridge. Tumbler Ridge Secondary School principal Mrs. Treit said, ?We are very proud of Daniel Helm, and wish him the best in his race. His hard work in training is an example to all of us.?

The Provincial Meet in Abbottsford involves the best student athletes in the province, with up to 300 participants in both the boys and girls events. There are no age groups, just senior school athletes, which means that most of Daniel?s competition will be a few years older than him. But it also means that this Grade 9 student, who says, ?I enjoy running with a passion?, will hopefully have three more years in which to compete at this level and try to improve on this year?s performance.