Semiahmoo Secondary runners Brandon Figueroa (left) and Milos Miljenovic compete in the senior boys race at Fraser Valley Cross-Country Championships in Clearbrook Park Wednesday.

Totems win three banners at Fraser Valley Cross-Country Championships

Semiahmooo has "best ever" performance at Fraser Valleys, held in Clearbrook Park Wednesday.

Whoever is in charge of hanging athletic banners at Semiahmoo Secondary is going to have to make some more room on the walls of the gym.

The space is needed after the Semiahmoo Totems’ cross-country teams returned home from Fraser Valley championships at Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Park Wednesday with three team titles – from the Grade 8 boys, Grade 8 girls and junior girls teams.

“It’s by far the best we’ve ever done as a school,” said Semiahmoo cross-country coach Scott Yewchuk.

“It’s not uncommon for us to do well and come home with a banner, we’ve never won this many – we’ve never had a boys’ team win at Fraser Valleys.

“Every single kid ran well – just right across the board. It was just a wonderful day.”

The three banners come just a few weeks after the school nabbed four Surrey cross-country banners.

Team titles are tabulated by calculating the placings of each school’s top four runners, with the lowest total score winning.

Both Grade 8 titles were won by a single point – the Totem boys over Maple Ridge, the girls over Sullivan Heights – and adding to the drama, both victories were not official until the following day, after individual results were recounted and confirmed.

“We were actually at school Wednesday when we heard we’d won,” said Yewchuk. “It was as tight as it could get, in both races.”

In the four-km junior girls race, Clayton Heights runner Christina Sevsek placed first, crossing the finish line in 15 minutes, 15.17 seconds. Earl Marriott’s Georgia Ginther was fourth, and Semiahmoo runners Jessica Williams, Dominika Paige and Julia Greer were sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively.

Danielle Steer from Elgin Park was 11th, just ahead of Semi’s Emily Liang.

In the five-km junior boys event, the Totems were third, led by Connor Jackson and Dawson Ribiero, who were fourth and fifth, respectively. Other south-end runners who fared well included Elgin Park’s Ben Watkins, in ninth, and Marriott’s Jackson Silvester-Lee in 11th.

In the three-km Grade 8 girls event, Semi’s Haley Ribiero finished second – just four seconds back of Abbotford’s Sienna Lenz – while Sullivan Heights’ Emma Kramer and Alyssa Terry were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Semiahmoo’s Alexa Porpaczy was ninth, and three other Totems – Alina Tork, Priya Gillan and Chelsea Zhou – were inside the top-20.

In the Grade 8 boys race, Earl Marriott’s Jaxon Mackie was second, in a time of 10:08.46, while EMS teammate Sajjan Sarai was ninth.

Semi’s Annie Ouyang and Nick Whiteley also placed in the top 20 runners out of 56 total.

In the senior girls’ four-km run, Panorama Ridge was eighth overall, while Semiahmoo was 10th.

Semi’s Chelsea Ribeiro was the top individual runner among Surrey athletes, placing fourth, while Earl Marriott’s Fiona Brown was 14th and Panorama’s Chelsea Harkins was 20th.

In the five-km senior boys race, Earl Marriott’s Sterling Ginther was the top finisher, in fifth, while Semi’s Brandon Figueroa was sixth and Lord Tweedsmuir’s Liam McKay ninth.

Other runners to place in the top-20 included White Rock Christian Academy’s Jordan Gin and Panorama’s Philip Truong.

Teams are now preparing for provincial cross-country championships, set for Saturday at Aldergrove Lake Park.

Coming off a successful Fraser Valley championship, Yewchuk hoped his team would be able to contend for another banner or two.

“We’ll just get out there, run as hard as we cam. and see what happens,” he said.

For full results from Fraser Valleys, visit www.fraservalleyxc.com

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