Nearly 600 boys and girls from all over the province were in Prince George last weekend to compete in provincials for the first time ever.
A winnowing season had cut the fat from runners, who powered through snow, mud and over icy slopes in an effort to win the ultimate race for the high schoolers in the province.
Three Correlieu runners and four Quesnel Junior runners made it to the big show in Prince George.
“It was a really hard fought effort for all of them,” QJS coach Scott Trueman said.
Pat Marsh, the Corrlieu coach was proud of her team’s placements in the competition.
The fastest boy of the Quesnel bunch was Konrad Teetzen, from Correlieu, finishing the 6.3 km race in 28:16. His time was good enough to place him 37 of the 61 junior boys runners. Dylan Cathcart, from QJS finished 21 out of 31 runners in the juvenile boys category, finishing the race 11 seconds behind Teetzen, at 28:27. Brennan Schwartz, the youngest male with the Quesnel bunch, also from QJS, finished the race at 30:45, placing 13 out of 21 racers in the bantam boys category.
Grace McTaggart, a QJS student was the fastest Quesnel girl, finishing the 4.3 km race in 20:19, which was good enough to put her in the top 10 of her age group, bantam girls, at seven out of 29. Kyra Teetzen, also from QJS, followed McTaggart by twelve seconds, at 20:31, which got her to 15 out of the 45 runners in the juvenile girls age group. Correlieu student, Katrina MacLean finished the race in 21:13, which placed her in 54 of the 115 runners that came from around B.C. Laura Dunn, another Correlieu runner, finished in 22:29, taking 86 in the same senior girls category.
The track consisted of wet grass, dirt and mud, with snow in the mix as well causing some slippery ascents that taxed the runner’s stamina.
“The race itself was an unique experience to witness,” Trueman said.
“In the beginning runners charged across a field of mud and snow like cattle in a mad rage. Within a couple hundred metres they were forced to pack themselves onto a narrow trail, where the challenging aspects of the course, including a long, snow packed hill separated the mass of runners, one lap at a time.”
He also added the length of the race, coupled with the seconds that separate those on top from those lower down, combined to make a grueling race that was won on razor thin margins, making the finishing times less important than the act being there and running the race.
Both teams were happy to be in Prince George and impressed with the event.