Cross-county runners battle rain at Fraser Valley Championships

Event held Wednesday afternoon at South Surrey’s Crescent Park

High-school runners from across the region had more to contend with than just each other at Fraser Valley Cross-Country Championships last Wednesday afternoon at Crescent Park – weather, too, played a serious role.

But torrential rain and strong winds were still no match for a handful of rain-soaked, mud-caked Surrey competitors, many of whom ended up on the podium.

As a team, Sullivan Heights’ Secondary won the overall senior girls title, outpacing second-place overall team Heritage Woods and Abbotsford Christian, which placed fourth. Earl Marriott rounded out the top five.

In the senior boys competition, EMS also fared well, placed fourth overall, led by first-place finisher Jaxon Mackie, while Fleetwood Park was sixth, Princess Margaret eighth and Tamanawis 10th.

Leading the Sullivan Heights Stars to victory was Sophia Kramer, who placed fifth in the 5.1-km race, clocking a time of 19 minutes, 32.81 seconds – just four hundredths of a second behind Walnut Grove’s Grace Chalk. Princess Margaret’s Baneet Bains was the fastest individual Surrey runner, finishing in second place overall, while Sullivan’s Emma Kramer was 13th, Southridge’s Cayla Smith was 15th, White Rock Christian Academy’s Elizabeth Gin was 16th, and Sarah Darby from Semiahmoo was 17th.

The senior boys race – also a 5.1-km slog through slick, muddy Crescent Park – was won with ease by Mackie, who crossed the line 31 seconds before second-place Zach Wyatt of Langley’s R.E. Mountain Secondary. Holy Cross runner Aiden Miller was fifth, and Marriott’s Sajjan Sarai rounded out the top 10.

Earl Marriott also finished first as a team in the four-km junior boys run, led by Jeremiah Mackie, was was second, finishing in 13:11.59 – six hundredths of a second back of the winner, Owen Pinto from Holy Cross. Fleetwood Park’s Jaiveer Tiwana was fifth, Semiahmoo’s Michael Miller was sixth and Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tyler Wilson eighth.

South Surrey and Cloverdale teams also placed high in the four-km junior girls race – EMS was third as a team, followed by Tweedsmuir in fourth, Semiahmoo in sixth, and Panorama Ridge in 10th.

Southridge’s Maya Kobylanski was the top South Surrey runner, placing second in a time of 14:45.83, while Holy Madison Stoochnoff from Holy Cross was third. Elgin Park’s Emma Cobban was ninth.

At the Grade 8 level, a pair of Marriott runners – Julia Mackie and Sierra Plummer – finished third and fourth, respectively, on the 2.8-km course, while Tweedsmuir’s Emily St. Denis was sixth and Kwantlen Park’s Katie Eitzen was 10th.

The Grade 8 boys race, also a 2.8-km circuit, saw Elgin Park’s Isaac Baker win bronze, while Semiahmoo’s Pavel Potashov placed fourth and Fleetwood Park’s Jacob King and Elgin’s Kaelem Dumont were eighth and ninth, respectively.

Elgin Park finished second in the overall Grade 8 boys team rankings, while Semiahmoo was third and WRCA was fifth.

Next up on the high-school cross-country calendar is provincials, which are set for Nov. 4 at Vancouver’s Jericho Beach.

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