The rain didn’t dampen the spirits – nor the speed – of hundreds of high school runners who battled through the inclement weather in order to cross the finish line at B.C. Cross-Country Championships Saturday at Aldergrove Lake Park.
And from South Surrey schools, no runners fared better than those competing in the 4.3-km junior girls race.
Thanks to a handful of top-20 finishes, Semiahmoo won the overall team award, edging Vancouver’s Little Flower Academy and Langley’s Walnut Grove Secondary, who finished second and third, respectively.
Heading into Saturday’s championship, Semiahmoo coach Scott Yewchuk predicted his junior girls squad would be among the top contenders, even with a few of his junior-aged girls running in the senior event.
Semiahmoo’s Haley Ribiero was the top Peninsula finisher, placing sixth in a time of 17 minutes, 11.61 seconds, while her Totem teammate Jessica Williams was seventh, seven seconds back of Ribiero.
Semi’s Dominika Paige and Julia Greer were 11th and 13th, respectively, while Elgin Park’s Danielle Steer, in 14th, and Earl Marriott’s Georgia Ginther, who was 15th, also finished inside the top 20.
The junior girls banner capped an incredible year for Semiahmoo, whose teams nabbed multiple titles at Surrey and Fraser Valley Championships last month.
Before provincials even began, head coach Scott Yewchuk called the season the school’s “best ever.”
Other Surrey runners to fare well in the junior girls race Saturday included Semi’s Emily Liang (23rd), Sullivan Heights’ Emma Kramer (35th), Marriott’s Carly Good (45th) and Sullivan’s Alyssa Terry (46th).
The soggy race – in which 223 runners took part – was won by Taryn O’Neill from George Elliott Secondary (Kelowna), who crossed the finish line in 16:40.82.
In the junior boys race, which was also 4.3 km, Semiahmoo’s Connor Jackson was the fleetest afoot among the locals, finishing fifth in a time of 15:06.19. His teammate, Dawson Ribiero, was 15th, while Earl Marriott runner Jackson Silvester-Lee was 21st, nine seconds back of the top 20.
In the 4.3-km senior girls run – which was won by Salmon Arm’s Glynis Sim – the top South Surrey runner was Chelsea Ribiero, in 19th, while Clayton Heights runner Christina Sevsek was 23th out of a field of 232.
In the 6.3-km senior boys race, Kwantlen Park’s Michael Abreha was the top Surrey runner, placing fifth, while the first south-end runner across the line was Semiahmoo’s Brandon Figueroa, in 17th. White Rock Christian Academy’s Jordan Gin was 26th and EMS runner Sterling Ginther placed 33rd. More than 240 runners competed in the senior boys race.
The top Surrey school was Kwantlen Park, which placed ninth overall in the team standings; White Rock Christian was 14th and Semi 16th out of 25 schools.