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TVRA Tri-County X-C

  Local schools sweep team divisions


     East Elgin's Knelsen wins midget girls' race, at TVRA Tri-County cross-country


     Thursday, October 19, 2017


  • Dorchester juniors
  • Sprint to the finish
  • In the woods
  • Coach talk
  • Knelsen
  • MB race
  • SJ cheer teammate
  • LDSS boys
  • SJ girls
  • SJ boys
  • PCI
  • CECI


 ORWELL, ON. - Hallee Knelsen is a Tri-County champion.

The East Elgin secondary school runner won the midget girls' race, at the Thames Valley Region Athletics (TVRA) Tri-County cross-country championships, at Springwater Conservation Area.

Knelsen was the lone individual race champion, from Elgin County-Dorchester, however, local schools dominated the team standings, winning all six divisions.

St. Joe's took the overall boys and girls' team titles, led by their first place senior boys and senior girls teams.

Lord Dorchester was both the midget and junior boys champions. Parkside was number one for junior girls, while the Central Elgin Titans was the top team in midget girls.

Knelsen made her mark in the second race of the meet.

"It was a little harder as I went on, but I had a pretty comfortable lead, so I wasn't too worried. Usually I'm further back when I start, but this time I tried to get out quicker and it worked," Knelsen said. "I knew I was capable of winning because I beat all of these girls before at previous meets. I was hoping to keep my time the same as last week's race (Springwater Invitational), because without anyone to push me it was a little harder to run that fast."

"I ended up getting the exact same time (17:11) as last week."

 A year ago, running for Summer's Corners elementary school, Knelsen placed third in the open girls' division, at the TVDSB final meet, held at Fanshawe Conservation Area.

Now, Knelsen has a high goal for the WOSSAA  meet, October 26, at Clinton St. Anne's high school.

"I'm really hoping to make it to OFSAA. That would be really exciting," said Knelsen. "I think I'll have to go out quicker like I did today, because I know the competition will want to go out fast. It will be crowded but I'll try to not get myself boxed in."

At the Banting Invitational meet, held at Springbank Park, in London, September 28, Knelsen placed third, in the race featuring many of the runners she will see again at WOSSAA. That includes Jalen Marcil, of London Central, who placed second, one up on Knelsen, in that elementary school meet at Fanshawe.

Thanks to winning the overall boys and girls' titles, the entire St. Joe's team will be at WOSSAA. The senior teams won, while each of the Rams other four teams were second.

"To take the overall boys and girls speaks volumes for the fact they're (St. Joe's runners) looking at this as a team thing," coach Annette Barry said. "For the senior boys, that was a big win. They weren't expecting that, so they're really excited. The light has always been on the senior boys (OFSAA top 10 last year), but that whole crew graduated. We thought this would be a rebuilding year, so it's a little bit of glory for them."

The Rams' senior boys top four, were Jordan Palmer, seventh, Aaron Brouwer, 10th, Nicholas Russchen, 18th and Gary Cassidy, 22nd. The senior girls top four: Kyleigh Stubbs, second, Jocelyn Delgado, sixth, Grace Gillett, seventh and Kaila Novak, eighth.

At St. Joe's, the cross-country team attracts large numbers. The Rams were also one of the more enthusiastic teams.

Barry explains the team has created a culture, that students can be involved, improve and contribute to the results -  CHEER.

"The bigger lesson would be, if I keep doing this, I'll get better," adds Barry. "Come in as a midget and stick with it, you can be successful in senior."

Several Rams weren't strong runners when in grade nine, but stuck with the team. Of course the Rams do have solid freshmen, such as Trevor Loebach (sixth, midget boys) and Arielle Aitken Guignard (third, midget girls).

The Lord Dorchester Beavers have a team of quality harriers, three who placed in the top 10 (Connor Erb, Jonathan Ledgley, Aidan Currah and their fourth, Charles Quance, just on the outside, in 12th place.

"Midget boys ran really well. They're a solid team," LDSS coach James Tennant said. "If they can cluster a little better, they might have a shot of making it to OFSAA."

The Beavers' junior foursome did cluster, all running together for most of the race, finishing 2-3-4-5 (see below). But they face stiff competition at WOSSAA, for a spot at OFSAA.

"They're a solid team, but (London schools) STA, Laurier and Central are also really good teams. Those guys will have to go out in the top 20, and try to achieve a (combined) score of under 90 (points)," Tennant said. "I'm really pleased with Matthew Vervoordeldonk. He has really come on this year and he's getting some confidence. He was our fourth guy last year and now he's getting up there, being the number one, number two guy. It really helps the team. He was probably our runner of the day."

All three of the Dorchester girls' teams advanced.

The Central Elgin Titans' midget girl's team is Petra Salin, Sydney Gee, Anika Woolsey and Taya Gordon.

Parkside's junior girls' team is Alyssa Bennett, Samantha Brown, Madeleine Krahn and Kya Dolittle.

The top three teams, plus any individual in the top 20, from each of the six races at Tri-County, advanced to WOSSAA.

At WOSSAA, from each division, the top two teams, plus the top five individuals not on those top two teams, qualify for OFSAA, held in Petawawa, November 4.

Below are the top three teams and top six individuals (aka the ribbon earners).

Complete Tri-County results.





1. Lord Dorchester
2. St. Joe's
3. Central Elgin
Individual top six
1.  Devin Tapsell (Strathroy DCI)
2.  Connor Erb (Lord Dorchester)
3.  Brandon Shearing (Notre Dame)
4.  Jonathan Ledgley (Lord Dorchester)
5.  Aidan Currah (Lord Dorchester)
6.  Trevor Loebach (St. Joe's)



1. Lord Dorchester
2. St. Joe's
3. Strathroy Holy Cross
Individual top six
1.  Creedyn Bragg (Ingersoll) 19:18
2.  Jaxon Nolte (Lord Dorchester)
3.  Matthew Vervoordeldonk (Lord Dorchester)
4.  Trevor Whitesell (Lord Dorchester)
5.  Garrett Snyders (Lord Dorchester)
6.  Nathan Andreoia (St. Mary's)



1. St. Joe's
2. Central Elgin
3. Strathroy Holy Cross 
Individual top six
1.  Kyle Farquharson (Strathroy DCI)
2.  Nathaniel Abell (East Elgin)
3.  Caleb Canfield (Woodstock Huron Park)
4.  Tom Corlett (Woodstock CASS)
5.  Colson Erb (Lord Dorchester)
6.  Blake Kokko (Central Elgin)




1. Central Elgin
2. St. Joe's
3. Lord Dorchester
Individual top six
1.  Hallee Knelsen (East Elgin)
2.  Sydnee Watkinson (Ingersoll)
3.  Arielle Aitken Guignard (St. Joe's)
4.  Claire Smith (Tillsonburg Glendale)
5.  Petra Salin (Central Elgin)
6.  Sydney Gee (Central Elgin)



1. Parkside
2. St. Joe's
3. Lord Dorchester
Individual top six
1.  Kyrstin Walleyn (Woodstock St. Mary's)
2.  Jessica Fisher (Strathroy DCI)
3.  Lexxi Bush (Strathroy DCI)
4.  Alyssa Bennett (Parkside)
5.  Haylee Vlasman (Central Elgin)
6.  Leah May (Lord Dorchester)



1. St. Joe's
2. Woodstock Huron Park
3. Lord Dorchester 
Individual top six
1. Madelyn Bullock (Woodstock Huron Park)
2. Kyleigh Stubbs (St. Joe's)  
3. Holly Hanchiruk (Huron Park)  
4. Abbey Davis (Woodstock CI)
5. Any Ropchan (East Elgin) 
6. Jocelyn Delgado (St. Joe's)