On Wednesday, Oct. 12 the Red Hawks cross-country team travelled to Brighton to run in the Quinte Invitational Meet at Dunnett Apple Orchards. At their first meet of the season, the Red Hawks demonstrated they are made of strength, speed, heart and determination. Approximately 45 schools attended the meet.
The Haliburton novice girls ran a strong team race to finish second overall, beating much larger schools like St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School and Cobourg Collegiate Institute. Leading the pack in the novice 4K race was Violet Humphries who finished 7th in a field of 65 runners. Grace Allder followed next with a strong run to finish 14th and Ella Gervais and Olivia Gruppe worked together on the course to finish 21st and 22nd respectively.
Novice boy Evan Backus made a strong debut in high school cross country. Backus ran a very competitive race, following up Humphries 7th place finish with a 7th of his own in a field of 54 runners.
Junior girl Erika Hoare, an OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) veteran from last year, showed she is determined to make a repeat appearance at the provincial championships. Hoare stuck with a leading pack of girls throughout the first lap of the course, finishing in 8th place out of 54 runners.
Up and coming junior boy Haiden Bird completely destroyed his personal best in cross country, showing great strides of improvement since beginning last year as a rookie runner. Bird ran on pure grit to earn a top 10, finishing 7th, and earning his finishline doughnut.
The full results from the Quinte Invitational Meet can be found at www.cossa.ca/bay-of-quinte-cross-country/.
On Wednesday, October 19, the team drove through rain to travel to Dagmar Ski Resort, just south of Uxbridge for one of the three Pre-OFSAA Invitational Meets offered by the host region. This meet gave the athletes a chance to preview the OFSAA course and get a taste of a big meet experience. Each division featured a field of approximately 200 runners.
Humphries once again showed she was a force to be reckoned with, running to an outstanding 22nd place finish out of 190 runners on the 4K novice course. Teammate Allder followed up once again, and had a great finishing dash for the line landing her in 59th; and Ella Gervais used the hills to her advantage finishing in the top half in 84th.
Junior girl and track and field athlete Hannah Sharp made her cross-country debut on the tough 5K junior course. Sharp found the leap tough, as the hills taking her breath away, but she stayed strong to complete the course and finish 139th.
Junior boy Bird once again ran with grit and passion, working his way up to the 36th spot out of the 175 runners in his field. Bird continued to stretch himself and improved on his kilometre pace time by a whopping ten seconds per kilometre from the previous run to finish the course in 18:55.
The full results can be found on trackdatabase.com for the Durham Series XC Meet 3.
Athletes prepare for Kawartha competition on Wednesday in Port Hope and the COSSA (Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association) Championships is the following Wednesday, also in Port Hope.
Submitted by Karen Gervais