The torrentail downpour that soaked competitors at the Fraser Valley championships on Oct. 28 made an unwelcomed retun at the B.C. high school cross country finals, wreaking havoc on the course and chilling runners to the bone.
Despite the conditions, the MRSS junior boys were able to overcome the rain and cold to make school history, taking home its first-ever team bronze medal in Vancouver on Nov. 7.
MRSS head coach Ken Elphick said the race was more about survival and getting to the finish line in one piece than anything else.
“I think the day was really about guts,” said Elphick. “It was overcoming the conditions and being mentally and physically strong enough. So much energy is spent on a day like that just keeping yourself warm.”
He said race officials had to adjust the course after each race because some of the corners were so tight, kids were constantly falling.
“They had to move the ropes so they could have fresh grass each time.”
In the end, the junior boys were able to persevere and make their way onto the podium.
The team was lead by Jorrin Lenton, who finished the 4,700-metre event in a time of 19:27.80, good for 11th overall in the team competition standings.
MRSS teammate Marshall Shupe finished just behind in 12th place with a time of 19:30.29. Nico Aron finished in 32nd, Nick Kerschbaum was 56th, Jack Sayerwas 57th and Nolan Varga was 78th.
There were 23 teams in the event.
Elphick said the event gave the team a good sense of how far the runners have come, and how far they need to go to move up in the standings.
Overall standings are accumulated using the team’s placement of its top four runners.
Ridge’s top four runners were a combined 111th. R.E. Mountain was tops with 66, while Dover Bay was second with 70.
In the junior girls’ event, Ilse Rafter lead the way for MRSS with a time of 19:16.41, helping propel the team to sixth out of the 25-team event. Marquesis Haintz finished 26th, followed by Brooke Parry in 34th, Emily Morley in 43rd, Bronte Elphick-Miner in 55th and Blythe Parry in 59th.
In senior girls, Jamie Hennessey continued her strong season, finishing seventh in team competition with a time of 18:35.72. The result helped lead the team to 13th out of 24 teams.
In senior boys, Alex Ross was the top Ridge runner, finishing the 6,300-metre course in a time of 27:19.56. The boys finished 17th out of 28 teams.
• Graeme Roberts of Westview finished eighth overall in the indiviual junior boys’ division, with a time of 18:47. There were 210 runners.
• Madelyn Huston of Thomas Haney was 11th in senior girls with a time of 18:28. There were 218 runners.
• Liam Foster of Pitt Meadows was 52nd in senior boys with a time of 27:08. There were 240 racers.