Sarya Ross and Callum Pilgrim placed first and second Wednesday in the senior girl’s race at the Fraser Valley High School Cross Country Championships held at Clearbrook Park.
The sunny, warm weather (22 degrees) seemed to agree with the two Mouat runners with Ross taking the lead from the start with Pilgrim following close behind in a race that saw 169 girls complete the 4.5-k course. Ross won in a time of 15:27.49 with Pilgrim close behind (15:34.28).
Ross was pleased with the result and felt confident as she followed the pre determined race plan that saw her lead from start to finish. It was the first medal for Ross at the Fraser Valley cross country level and a complete turnaround from last year when injuries curtailed her progress.
Pilgrim had her strongest race this season and was satisfied with her performance after a sub par run last week. An all round athlete, Pilgrim fits her running into a shared schedule with other sports.
Alicia Unruh (Mouat) also had her best run of the season and placed seventh with a time of 16:19. Unfortunately, however, despite having three girls place in the top 10, Mouat lost the team title by one point to Walnut Grove of Langley (60-61).
Two other club runners placed in the top twenty of the senior girls race. A much-improved performance by Caitlin Leblanc (Sardis) saw her take 12th (16:58). “I was happy with my run and can feel the gain in strength that has come as a result of hard practices,” stated Leblanc. Once again Delaney Chapman (Abbotsford Traditional) ran with determination and placed 15th (17:14).
In the junior girl’s 4.5-k run, Kate Sokolowski (GW Graham) put forth a very competitive performance to win the bronze medal (16:00.34). Sokolowski was with leader Christian Sevsek for three quarters of the race before giving up ground. At the BC Championships, Sokolowski will take part in the first ever-official BC High School Junior Girls Championship race.
Aiden Bingert (Mouat) was in good form and placed 12th in the senior boy’s 6-k race (21:45). This was Aiden’s strongest run in these longer distances and easily qualified himself and Peter Mitchell (Mouat) who place 13th (21:51) for the BC Championships.
Other top performances by Royal athletes included the sixth place finish (17:40) from Tanner Geary (Sardis) in the junior boy’s 5-k race followed by Devon Kular (Mouat) in 13th and Liam Bingert 15th.