Gryphons sprint into top 5 at provincials

The Smithers Secondary cross-country team is one of the best in the province.

The Smithers Secondary cross-country team is one of the best in the province.

The junior boys’ cross-country team finished fifth at the B.C. High School Cross Country Championships in Victoria last weekend against 19 other schools, moving up from sixth place the previous year.

Smithers’ junior girls team placed eighth out of 21 teams as well.

“They ran really well and I was very pleased with how every single athlete ran,” said head coach Jody Barber. “They all had outstanding races and I’m very happy with those efforts.”

Barber added the team trained hard all season and saw their efforts pay off at provincials.

“Cross-country running is a lot of hard work and they put that effort and time in and I think that showed in their great performances,” she said, noting that she didn’t expect the junior girls to place in the top 10 since none of them had been to provincials before.

Juniors Ryan Williams finished in 19:32, with Jaydin Haskins close behind at 19:34; Seton Kriese finished in 19:43 and Alex Weme finished in 21:05.

This was Weme’s third appearance at provincials.

“It was an okay race, it wasn’t my best race. But I did the down hills well because a lot of people didn’t do them well,” said Weme, who finished 98th in the pack.

“Next time I would improve on my start. I didn’t have a fast enough start so I was stuck behind people the whole way.”

Juniors Hannah Pow, Zoe Hallman and McKinley Unruh posted times of 18:02, 18:47 and 19:31, respectively.

Seniors Hamish Woods finished with a time of 23:55; while Zoe Bizarro finished in 18:12.

For the team, provincials were a great way to end the season.

“The season was a bit short because of the strike. But other than that, it was a really good season,” said Weme, adding that he is excited to join the team next year.

Barber said the club has increased in popularity with a number of young new athletes joining the team this past season.

“I thought it was a great season. We had more students come out for cross country running this year than what we’ve had for quite a few years,” said Barber.

“It’s a great new younger group of runners and I’m looking forward to coaching them for a few years yet.”





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