By Sobia Moman
Nechako Valley Secondary school cross country team placed in regional and provincial tournaments this season.
The runners competed in the regional tournament on a cold, sunny day in the West Fraser Timber Park in Quesnel on Saturday, Oct. 23. Runners who qualified for provincials competed at Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver on a lightly rainy Saturday, Nov. 6.
Ava Bailey, a grade 9 student, placed first in the regional tournament out of 36 participants for junior girls.
“That was really nice because that was the first time we’ve had a zone champion in Nechako Valley since I’ve been coaching for 23 years,” said Brian Nemethy, head coach of NVSS X-Country team.
In the provincials, Bailey was competing against mainly grade 10 students but was able to place 37 out of 240 runners.
Nemethy had one main goal for his grade 8 runner Jimmy Reed – be number one out of all grade 8 boys in the regionals. This he accomplished, along with being second overall in the junior boys regional tournament and number 44 in the province out of 265 competitors.
“Jimmy runs like he’s in grade 10 already but he’s in grade 8 so he’s definitely going to be in the top 10 next year,” Nemethy said.
Reuben Daniel, a grade 10 runner, placed bronze in regionals.
Madison Seely, athlete on the senior cross country team, placed third in the regional tournament out of 23 participants, and in provincials she placed 40 out of 233.
Nemethy is getting ready to prepare his team for next year’s cross country tournaments. When summer rolls around, most students are free from school, but the team is training hard to improve their run times with the coach.
The NVSS X-Country team has a total of 23 runners, but only 15 were eligible for competitions. The remaining eight are in grade 7 and will be able to compete in next year’s rounds.
Competitions for cross country running are split up into junior and senior teams, as well as races where individuals compete against other students in their grade. The athletes in grades 8, 9 and 10 make up the junior team and runners in grades 11 and 12 are on the senior team.