With conditions being what they were at Crescent Park Wednesday – rainy, muddy and slick – it was unlikely that any records were set at Fraser Valley Cross-Country Championships.
But the conditions didn’t stop a handful of South Surrey runners from racing to victory, as a handful found themselves with top-10 finishes, and team banners were won, as well.
With seven runners finishing in the top 30 of the 4.6-km senior girls race, Semiahmoo Secondary captured the overall team title in that age category – the fifth Fraser Valley banner that group of runners has won, dating back to Grade 8.
The Totems were led by Julia Greer, who finished in 17 minutes, 24.7 seconds, trailing only the gold- and silver-medal winning Sevsek sisters, Christina and Julie of Clayton Heights Secondary.
Semiamhoo’s Jessica Williams placed 12th, and was followed by Haley Ribeiro, Alexa Porpaczy, Kara Lauer, Emily Lang and Dominika Paige in the top 30, giving the South Surrey school enough points to win the team title.
“They showed why they are the two-time provincial champs… the stops were pulled out and the hammer was put down,” said Semiahmoo coach Scott Yewchuk of his senior girls’ performance, who also praised the group for “their amazing grit and toughness.”
Earl Marriott’s senior girls placed second overall, and were paced by eighth-place finisher Georgia Ginther, while Karla Godinz, Colleen Wiebe, Carly Good and Lisa Seidelman also finished in the top-30 of the 134-runner event.
At the senior boys level, Semiahmoo also fared well, finishing third overall, behind only Sardis Secondary and Langley’s Walnut Grove.
Dawson Ribeiro was the team’s top finisher, placing eighth in the 6.7-km race, while teammate Luke Forsyth was 11th.
Though he ran with fewer teammates than some runners at larger schools, White Rock Christian Academy’s Connor Jackson had the top finish among all local runners in the senior boys race, placing third in a time of 22:20.83 – less than a minute off the pace of Seaquam’s Michael Milic, who took top spot.
Other top finishers in the senior boys division included Earl Marriott’s Andrew Lewis (19th) and Jackson Silvester-Lee (27th).
Earl Marriott runners shone in the 4.6-km junior boys race, as Jaxon Mackie was the first to cross the finish line, 31 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
Teammate Sajjan Sarai was just one minute behind Mackie, placing fifth, while Jeremiah Mackie – only in Grade 8 – finished in sixth.
Semiahmoo’s Trey Ferrence was 13th, and other top finishers included Elgin Park’s Oliver Gibson (24th), Semiahmoo’s Tyler Eley (26th) and Lord Tweedsmuir’s Ryan Pederson (33rd).
In the junior girls race, which was also 4.6 km, Sullivan Heights’ runners Sophia and Emma Kramer finished second and sixth, respectively, while Panorama Ridge’s Alanna Sydenham was fifth, and WRCA’s Sarah Chu was seventh.
Chu’s teammate, Elizabeth Gin crossed the line in 11th spot.
Grade 8 runners got into the action Wednesday, as well, running a 2.9-km circuit.
The top South Surrey finishers on the girls’ side was Semiahmoo’s Georgia Muir, who was 10th, while EMS runner Samantha Palatinus was 16th and Semi’s Sash Alfonso and Emma Dorval were 18th and 22nd, respectively.
In the boys’ run, two Totems – Michael Miller and Lyle McCain – were second and fourth, respectively, while Tweedsmuir’s Tyler Wilson placed eighth.
Next on the cross-country calendar is B.C. championships, which are set for Saturday, Nov. 7 at Vancouver’s Jericho Park.