Quesnel runners qualify for provincials

Eight Quesnel runners qualified for provincials in Prince George last weekend.

Grace MacTaggart  leads the pack. MacTaggart got first in her age category and was in the top five for girls overall

Grace MacTaggart leads the pack. MacTaggart got first in her age category and was in the top five for girls overall

Quesnel Junior Secondary and Correlieu have fielded an array of field-topping runners this year, with the girls doing exceptionally well. Last weekend, at zones, they stayed on pace.

The students were in Prince George running the same track on which they will compete for the provincials. The girls ran a 4.3 km race, while the boys took the long, 6.3 km route.

Pat Marsh, the coach for Correlieu, was pleased with the performance of all the runners.

Four QJS runners, Grace McTaggart, Kyra Teetzen Dylan Cathcart and Brennan Schwartz, along with three Correlieu runners, Katrina MacLean, Laura Dunn and Konrad Teetzen, will head up to Prince George this weekend to take part in the provincials.

Grace McTaggart, from QJS, once again dominated her class, finishing with a time of 19:22, nearly half a minute ahead of the runner in second in the female bantam category. Her time was also good enough to seat her with girls much older than her in the top five for women overall.

Kyra Teetzen, another QJS runner, hit the top spot in the female junior category, finishing at 19:58, which was good enough to break the top ten in the female overall category.

Correlieu runner Laura Dunn took fourth in the junior category with a solid time of 20:12. Marsh called it her best race to date.

In the senior category, Katrina MacLean, of Correlieu, managed fourth as well, crossing the finish line at 19:46. Due to a problem with her knee, that precluded training for most of the year, MacLean had not run during the rest of the season, only being able to train by running in the pool. Her time kept her firmly in the top ten overall.

“She’s a tough customer when it comes to competing,” Marsh said of her return.

On the strength of those runs, the Correlieu female team, the only category either of the schools had the numbers to field a team for, got fourth place. Though it didn’t allow the team to go to the provincials as a team, Marsh is happy to have a team, noting that few of the other schools at the zones had one.

“I’m hoping in the next couple of years we’ll be able to have a boys and girls team,” Marsh said.

On the boys side of things, Correlieu runner Konrad Teetzen broke into the top three in the junior category with a time of 27:10. Marsh is pleased with Teetzen’s success, noting that he is still young and has two years left to run with the school.

Brennan Schwartz, a QJS runner, took fourth in bantam with a time of 29:19.

In Juvenile, Dylan Cathcart represented for QJS with a time of 27:39, which netted him fifth in his category.

This is the first time the provincials have been in the North-Central zone, Marsh said. Last year cold weather in Kelowna surprised the runners from Vancouver, and Quesnel runners are half-hoping for snow Marsh said.

For her part, though, she is hoping the weather is nice, as the trip up north has disgruntled some southern running teams and cold weather may dampen the runners desire to come back up north in the future.

Marsh is looking forward to the provincials and is sure the event will be up to par.

The athletes will next be in action in Price George running against students from all over the province on Nov. 3.