Last month, as he stood soaking wet under an awning as rain poured down around him at Crescent Park, Earl Marriott Secondary runner Jaxon Mackie said he actually enjoyed running in the rain.
At the time, he was just moments removed from a first-place finish in the junior boys race at Fraser Valley Championships.
And if he liked the rain then, he must really love it now, after capturing a provincial title under adverse conditions Saturday at Vancouver’s Jericho Park.
Mackie, 15, won the 5.3-km race by a nose – the race was so close that Mackie finished with the same official time, 17 minutes and 41 seconds, as the second-place finisher Kalum Delaney of Reynolds Secondary in Victoria.
Only three other Surrey runners placed in the top 30 in the junior boys run – Fleetwood Park’s Matt Hobson was 16th, Earl Marriott’s Sajjan Sarai was 18th and Tamanawis Secondary’s Tyson Baker placed 25th.
Local runners also shone at the senior level, led by the Semiahmoo Totems’ senior girls, who finished third overall in the team rankings, led by Julia Greer, who placed 16th in the five-km race; Jessica Williams, who was 26th; and Haley Ribeiro, 32nd.
“The conditions were tough. Heavy rains, colder temperatures and lots of mud… but the girls ran with heart and determination in extremely challenging conditions,” said Semiahmoo coach Scott Yewchuk. “At the end of the day, they left nothing out on the course.”
Clayton Heights’ Christina Sevsek was the top individual finisher among Surrey runners, finishing second, while her sister, Julie Sevsek, was seventh. Earl Marriott’s Georgia Ginther was 20th overall and Elgin Park’s Danielle Steer rounded out the top local runners, in 40th out of the field of 100 runners.
At the senior boys level – a six-km race – the top local was White Rock Christian Academy’s Connor Jackson, who placed fifth. Jackson, who was the bronze-medal winner at Fraser Valleys in late October, clocked a time of 24:11, just 24 seconds off the pace of first-place finisher Kieran Lumb of Lord Bynd Secondary.
In addition to a top-five placing, Jackson’s run also set a new WRCA senior boys record – a mark previously held by Jordan Mara, who went on to run for the University of Arizona after high school.
Semiahmoo’s Dawson Ribeiro was the second South Surrey runner to cross the line, finishing 25th in a time of 25:54.
In the four-km junior girls race, the top Surrey runner was Panorama Ridge’s Alanna Sydenham, who was ninth, while Sullivan Heights’ Emma Kramer was 19th. WRCA’s Sarah Chu crossed the finish line in 28th place to round out the top local runners.
For a full list of results, visit www.bcxc.ca