ST. PAUL - Athletes from across the St. Paul region gathered at Ross Lake on Sept. 23 to take part in the St. Paul Athletics Association (SPAA) cross country race - the first district championship to be held since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Student athletes from St. Paul, Mallaig, Ashmont, Two Hills, Elk Point, Glendon, and beyond spent a warm fall day outside, cheering on teammates and racing along the trails.
According to John Randall, one of this year's organizers and a coach for FG Miller Jr./Sr. High School, "It was so nice to get back out to Ross Lake and watch the kids run. It seems like forever since we got to do something like that and I would say the athletes and coaches loved it."
He said the day overall went well, and was complimented with great weather.
"There was about 150 kids there and we usually have around 300 or a little more, so it was way down unfortunately," said Randall. The reasons for a lower turnout are unknown, but the effects of the pandemic on school sports have been felt.
"I hope athletics stays around during this fourth wave, as I think it’s super important for the kids," says Randall, but, those involved will continue to deal with whatever comes their way, as they have in the last two schools years.
When all was said and done, the junior high banners were split, and St. Paul Regional High School (SPRHS) claimed both boys' and girls' banners.
FG Millers students (Elk Point) took home the boys' junior high banner, and Racette Jr. High School took home the girls' banner.
First place results in each category include:
C Girls 2,000m - Paige Bohn (Racette)
B Girls 2,000m - Gracie Ganser (Glendon)
A Girls 3,000m - Mady Luciak (Glendon)
C Boys 2000m - Madden Flamand (FG Miller)
B Boys 2,000m - Matthew Zarowny (Racette)
A Boys 3,000m - Ethan Loughran (Racette)
PARA 2,000m - Shawn Lysons (SPRHS)
Junior Girls 4,000m - Kaitlyn Foote (SPRHS)
Intermediate Girls 5,000m - Caitlyn Quinton (SPRHS)
Senior Girls 5,000m - Brittney Cole (SPRHS)
Junior Boys 4,000, - Brennen Riopel (SPRHS)
Intermediate Boys 5,000m - Steven Zacharuk (FG Miller)
Senior Boys 5,000m - Damian Rosborough (SPRHS)
Grade 6 students also took part but their results were not included in point totals. Coming in first place for the girls' was Kara Gerlinsky from Racette Jr. High School, and in first place on the boys' side was Trace Wagner from Glen Avon School.