St. Joe's midget boys and Lord Dorchester's junior boys finish with the top three
runners in those races at the TVRA Tri-County cross country championships
Thursday, October 18, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
WOODSTOCK, ON. - It was not hard to spot members of the Lord Dorchester Beavers or St. Joseph's Rams cross country teams.
That is because they were running roughshod among the top 20 in each of the six races, at the Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) Tri-County championships, at Roth Park.
The top four teams in each of the six divisions qualify for the WOSSAA championships, Thursday, October 25th, at Springwater Conservation Area. Any individual runner finishing in the top 20 in their respective race also moves on. As well, the top two overall boys and girls teams also qualify. By no surprise it was Dorchester and St. Joe's, respectively.
St. Joe's won the midget boys, midget girls and junior girls' team crowns.
Dorchester was the junior and senior boys team champions, leaving Strathroy DCI with the senior girls' title.
More amazing, is both Dorchester and St. Joe's each had a race where their runners occupied the top three placements.
In the junior boys' five kilometre race, Dorchester had the first five finishers and seven of the top 10. Race champion Owen Pink was the beginning of a wave of back to back Beavers to cross the finish line.
The Rams midget boys' team landed the top three and five in the top 10 positions, in their four kilometre race. Aiden Coles won the race, followed by his brother, Tristan and then Harrison Belanger.
Dorchester's Ashley Legg won the midget girls' four kilometre race.
East Elgin Eagle Hallee Knelsen ran away with the junior girls' top spot, finishing the five kilometre course in 20:51, over a minute and half faster than runner-up Jessica Fisher, of Strathroy DCI.
Woodstock Huron Park's Aaron Canfield won the senior boys' race and Krystin Walleyn, of Woodstock St. Mary's won the senior girls' race.
The Rams were spotted everywhere because the school had the largest team with over 100 runners participating. The herd leader is coach Annette Barry, who these days does not need to hustle around the school recruiting.
"I don't have to advertise it anymore. It has taking a life of its own. When I walked into the room on the first day, it was a sea of bodies. One of out every seven of our student body is doing cross country," said Barry. "Someone knows someone who has done it before and those kids are advertising it as something someone can do. I love it because beyond the success of lets say the midget boys' team, this is about kids staying active and being a part of something. It is a joy."
Fourth year Ram Grace Gillet was part of the school's senior girls' team that ran at OFSAA, the high school provincial championships, last year.
"She (Barry) is an amazing coach. Without her we would not be the team we are today. She sometimes gets a little mean, but it's always in a good way. Our workouts are very hard some days, but they always pay off in the end," said Gillet, who finished third at Tri-County in the senior girls' race. "Everyone comes with a smile on their face. The environment of our team is incredible. By the end of the year I'm friends with grade nines who I never knew before."
The Rams' midget boys are looking towards qualifying for OFSAA, November 3, in Ancaster. The Coles brothers' biggest rival is Heath McAllister, of London Central, who won the midget boys race at the TVRA Central championships.
"I think our team will do pretty good," said Aiden Coles. "We're hoping to get as many low points as we can. Obviously knowing that Heath is going to be there will make it harder to finish one-two again. But we'll still push for it."
The Beavers' junior boys' team is also eyeing a berth to OFSAA, with Pink and Connor Erb leading the way. Last season, Erb placed 76th at OFSAA in the midget boys' event featuring 200 runners.
London Oakridge will be the Beaver's toughest competition. The Oaks had the top three runners and five in the top ten, at the Central championships.
"Junior boys ran well and the group of (Dilpreet) Sandu, (Aiden) Curran and (Joshua) Smith packed well. They are going to have to do that racing Oakridge's two and three guys for us to win WOSSAA," said Dorchester coach James Tennant. "(Owen) ran really well and looked strong cruising to victory. Hopefully Owen will take that risk at WOSSAA and achieve silver at worst."
Legg will be in contention to advance from WOSSAA, where the top two teams and the five fastest individuals not on the top two teams in each division, qualify for OFSAA.
"Ashley is running well and making progress. I am very happy that she is enjoying the season and how dedicated she has been," said Tennant. "I am also looking forward to how she responds at WOSSAA against some of the girls that have narrowly beaten her. Hopefully she decides to take that next step and risk staying with them to achieve a WOSSAA medal."
Legg, a graduate of Northdale Central school, is hoping to extend her season into November.
"My goal is to make it to OFSAA. I have to stay with the faster people (at WOSSAA) rather than the pack behind," said Legg.
Knelsen is aiming to return to OFSAA, after placing 26th in the midget girls' race last year.
Her main rivals will be London Central's Elysse Fleming and Jalen Marcil, along with Victoria Lamb, out of London Aquinas.
Hallee on the trail
INDIVIDUAL (winner and local top 20 results)
Midget (4000 metres) 1. Aidan Coles (St. Joe's) 2. Tristan Coles (St. Joe's) 3. Harrison Belanger (St. Joe's) 4. Brent Hagerty (Parkside) 5. Mason Basson (Parkside) 8. James Hill (St. Joe's) 10. Joel Bowden (St. Joe's) 12. Carson Dietrich (St. Joe's) 13. Carson Bonnett (St. Joe's) 15. Gavan White (Lord Dorchester) 16. Sullivan Hutton (Central Elgin) 17. Clark Jackson (Central Elgin) 20. Payton Callahan (Parkside)
Junior (5000 metres) 1. Owen Pink (Lord Dorchester) 2. Connor Erb (Lord Dorchester) 3. Joshua Smith (Lord Dorchester) 4. Dilpreet Sandhu (Lord Dorchester) 5. Aiden Currah (Lord Dorchester) 7. Kolbie Wall (East Elgin) 9. Jonathan Ledgeley (Lord Dorchester) 10. Evan Gillies (Lord Dorchester) 11. Harrison VanBroekhoven (St. Joe's) 12. Justin Cole (Parkside) 16. Liam Baker St. Joe's) 17. Johnny Reimer (East Elgin)
Senior (6000 metres) 1. Aaron Canfield (Woodstock Huron Park) 2. Nathaniel Abell (East Elgin) 3. Colson Erb (Lord Dorchester) 5. Garrett Snyders (Lord Dorchester) 6. Blake Kokko (Central Elgin) 7. Aaron Brouwer (St. Joe's) 9. Gary Cassidy (St. Joe's) 10. Jaxon Nolte (Lord Dorchester) 11. Matthew Vervoordeldonk (Lord Dorchester) 14. Marko Spasic (Lord Dorchester) 17. Nathan Grover (St. Joe's) 19. Zach Woolsey (Central Elgin) 20. Liam Brayton (West Elgin)
Para 1. Austin Cornish (Woodstock CASS) 3. Diego Alban-Gasca (St. Joe's)
Midget (4000 metres) 1. Ashley Legg (Lord Dorchester) 2. Cerena Aitken-Guignard (St. Joe's) 6. Ashley Betencourt (St. Joe's) 11. Emelia Marcinkiewicz (Parkside) 14. Tazia Lessard (Parkside) 15. Myra Bouwer (St. Joe's) 16. Dallas Cooper (St. Joe's) 18. Megan VanLingen (St. Joe's)
Junior (5000 metres) 1. Hallee Knelsen (East Elgin) 5. Arielle Aitken-Guignard (St. Joe's) 6. Abby Downing (Lord Dorchester) 10. Natalie Tasker (St. Joe's) 11. Ella Jakobi (St. Joe's) 12. Lucy Sheridan (St. Joe's) 13. Laurena Lord (St. Joe's) 18. Emma Harkness (East Elgin) 20. Tatem Eastman (Lord Dorchester)
Senior (6000 metres) 1. Kyrstin Walleyn (Woodstock St. Mary's 3. Grace Gillet (St. Joe's) 7. Caitlyn Evely (East Elgin) 9. Hayee Vlasman (Central Elgin) 10. Leah May (Lord Dorchester) 13. Mary Claire Haasen (St. Joe's) 15. Madison Lunick (Lord Dorchester) 16. Alyce McLean (St. Joe's) 17. Emma Kebbel (St. Joe's) 18. Emily Campeau (Central Elgin) 19. Madeleine Krahn (Parkside) 20. Rachelle Charron (St. Joe's)