The St. Joseph's high school cross country team members among seven young
runners to have top three finishes at the Railway City Road Races
Sunday, September 23, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - If spectators along the men's five kilometre route during the Railway City Road Races thought they were seeing double, they were correct.
Twins Aiden and Tristan Coles, both 13 year old Grade nine students at St. Joseph's high school, finished one-two in the race, with Aiden leading the way, crossing the finish line in 18:05.
"I felt I was going faster because it was cold and I haven't run a five K in a while, but it was a good race," said Aiden.
Tristan finished in 18:59, followed by 11-year old Dylan Oprenchok, in third place (20:30).
The brothers are each other's training partner.
"Knowing that he'll (Tristan) push me, pushes me along because I obviously don't want him to beat me," said Aiden, with a smile. "It helps me push harder."
Tristan acknowledges the competitive nature between them and is always out attempting to be faster than Aiden.
"It's good to have him so I can try to beat him," Tristan said. "Today wasn't my best race, but I wanted to get the distance down, so it's practice more for my four Ks."
The Coles are currently running cross country at St. Joe's and helped the Rams midget boys' team win their division at the opening meet of the season, in Dorchester. Aiden and Tristan, placed second and third, respectively, behind race winner Heath McAllister, of London Central.
Competing at the high school level is a step up in the competition and of skill of runner from their days at Elgin Court public school.
"There are more people around our speed. In elementary school there weren't as many people to push us," said Aiden, "but now you have people who run club who we haven't ran against before. It pushes us more."
The Coles will see familiar faces in Mason Basson and Brent Hagerty, graduates of Sparta and Southwold schools, respectively, now together at Parkside Collegiate.
Not surprising, the brothers aim to stay ahead of Basson and Hagerty and track down McAllister.
"We'll try to push against them and keep up with, or try to catch Heith this year," said Tristan.
At the 2017 Thames Valley District School Board cross county championships, McAllister, running for Ryerson school, won the open boys' race, with Basson, Aiden and Tristan, finishes second through fourth.
During the summer the Coles ran for London Legion and fared well at the Athletics Ontario provincial championships.
Aiden finished second in both the 1500 (with a personal best time of 4:34) and 1200 metre events and fourth in the 800 metres.
Tristan's standout race was the 1500 metres.
"We were all top four within a second, so we all got 4:34 or 4:35. That was my highlight."
The Railway City Road Races features three distances (five, 10, half marathon), a five kilometre walk, and a Choo Choo Challenge for children under 10 years of age, raising funds for St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital orthopedics. The 2017 event raised $18,500.
This year the half marathon was renamed in honour of Rob Broadbent, former St. Thomas fire chief, who passed away just prior to the Road Races last year.
All races, except the half marathon, started and finished at the CASO station and took runners through Pinafore Park. The half marathon started in Port Stanley.
Complete race RESULTS.
AITKEN-GUIGNARD WINS WOMEN'S 5K
Aiden Coles wasn't the only race champion from the St. Joseph's X-C team.
Cerena Aitken-Guignard, also 13 years old, won the female five kilometre event, in 21:10. Mel Sandwith finished second, in 22:10, followed by Heather McKay, in third place.
Young teens left their mark on two other races.
Thirteen year old Sydney Murdock finished second (46:26.4), behind winner Robin McLean (44:05.7) in the female 10 kilometre distance. Lesley Tischler-Draper was third (47:45.2).
Fourteen year old Jack Fairfield placed second (39:59.3) behind Michael Roches (38:58.6), in the male 10K. Andrew Holmes finished third (40:04.6).
Reed Waldick won the men's half marathon in 1:35:49, while Sue Safadi took the women's crown in 1:36:35.
Samuel Olarte-Rodriguez, only 11 years old, finished the men's five kilometre walk in first place. Melanie Goldsmith was the fastest female five kilometre walker.