LAKELAND - St. Paul Regional High School and F.G. Miller Jr./Sr. High school joined Kitscoty High School in taking home the 2021 banners from the North East Zone Cross Country competition at Ross Lake on Wednesday. Athletes from more than 25 schools coming from an area reaching from Fort McMurray to Highway 16 were in the running for the championship banners.
F.G. Miller sports director Jon Randall said that registrations for Zones were “normal, although there were a few scratches” after registrations came in. He noted that only half as many runners as usual took part in the St. Paul Athletic Association’s competition on Sept. 23. A total of 174 racers were in the lineup in seven categories for Wednesday’s races. The day was a much cooler and cloud covered day than the SPAA event had enjoyed.
After nearly five hours of races through the leaf-dappled trails and along one of Ross Lake’s sandy beaches, the points for each school were totalled up in three classifications, depending on school population, to determine the zone winners.
With 15 schools competing in the 1A bracket, F.G. Miller added up 651.44 points to receive the Zone banner. Bonnyville’s École des Beaux-Lacs came in second with 530.09 points and St. Mary’s from Vegreville placed third with 466.67.
Kitscoty Jr./Sr. High School took the 2A banner with 969.27 points, Lamont High came second with 434.67 points and J. R. Robson High in Vermilion finished in third with 295.15 points in an eight-school bracket.
St. Paul Regional High led the eight-school 3A bracket by a large margin, collecting a whopping 1,338.56 points compared to second place Cold Lake High School with 938.44, and Holy Rosary from Lloydminster with 607.92, in third.
The zone win was the 19th consecutive 3A banner win for St. Paul Regional High School, aside from last year when most competitions throughout the school year were cancelled due to the pandemic. A total of 11 students from SPRHS will be among those competing at provincials in Red Deer.
The top runners, from first to third in each category were as follows:
Junior Women – Jessica Walsh, Cold Lake; Jersey Hollingshead, Cold Lake; Jordyn Skarsen, Notre Dame, Bonnyville.
Junior Men – Jack Nichol, Cold Lake; Nathan Wilson, École McTavish, Fort McMurray; Gabe Wenecamp, Kitscoty.
Intermediate Women – Kiera Thomas, École McTavish; Sydney Aessie, Cold Lake; Caitlyn Quinton, St. Paul Regional.
Intermediate Men – Ahmed Faiq, École McTavish; Brady Higgins, Kitscoty; Steven Zacharuk, F. G. Miller.
Senior Women – Saige McCaffrey, Cold Lake; Hailey Tabish, Kitscoty; Alyssa Bernier, Westwood, Fort McMurray.
Senior Men – Jared Rennie, Cold Lake: Grayson Crawford, Kitscoty; Damian Rosborough, St. Paul Regional.
Paralympic – Shawn Lysons, St. Paul Regional; Aaliyah Herzog, Vermilion.