High School cross country challengers to the forefront
by Randy Pascal
Sydney Tarini (Lo-Ellen) and Ben Lagadin (Lively) have served notice to the local high school cross-country community that they expect to
contend this fall - but they are hardly alone.
The early season races have revealed a number of returning faces, as well as newcomers and others who have surged forward, with the SDSSAA championships
less than a month away (October 19th).
Tarini and Lagadin captured their respective divisions, as the first preliminary race of the season at Lockerby Composite grouped all the young
men over a 4.5 kilometer course, while the ladies covered a three kms distance.
Tarini, who posted a time of 12:35, finished some twenty seconds ahead of fellow Lo-Ellen runner Allison Caswell, despite having to overcome some
recent challenges. "I'm surprised with how my training is going right now, because I took a month off to rest an achilles injury," she said.
"I'm back to training full time, and feel like I'm back in the groove now." In fact, it's entirely possible may have been a blessing in disguise. "Taking
a full month off was really helpful, because I had a lot of energy coming into the season," Tarini added.
Still, the race itself had the grade 11 teenager somehow in the dark about exactly what to expect. "I didn't feel good right at the start of the race,
but then I just kept running and I got in the zone. I was running at tempo, and then I saw people starting to catch up, so I zoomed on the downhill."
Lagadin, likewise, entered the event still questioning the end result of a summer that included a mixed bag of training. "I've been playing competitive
soccer all summer, and running separately twice a week," he said.
"I would push myself every time, but I didn't think I was going to win the race. It turned out good." In fact, much like Tarini, Lagadin took something
of a "wait and see" approach at the sound of the starting gun.
"I just wanted to run my own pace, and see how it went," he said. "Halfway through the race, I was in third place, right behind the two guys running
beside each other. I just took the lead because I had gas, and ran hard to the end."
Other divisional winners included siblings Nathalie Marks de Chabris (JG - 13:08) and Augustin Marks de Chabris (JB - 16:38), both of
Lo-Ellen, as well as Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE - MG - 13:16) and Aidan MacKenzie (CFD - MB - 18:06).
While the contingent representing the Lo-Ellen Park Knights fared well in pretty much every division, it is the Junior Boys team that has their
sights set on doing some special, as a team, at the provincial level.
The Junior Knights grabbed three of the top four placings at Lockerby, with plenty of depth in their roster, including second place finisher Connor
Jermyn. "I've got a nice bit of training in over the summer, since the mono issue," noted Jermyn after the race.
"I've been feeling really good, my stride felt good, my breathing was down pat." The grade 10 Lo-Ellen lads burst on to the scene last year as midgets,
earning a 12th place finish at OFSAA, a standing they are looking to improve upon this year.
"We always talk about team goals," said Jermyn. "We definitely want to break the top ten at OFSAA in team placings. The fact that we are all in the
same year, and we are so tightly-knit, it's great. During training, it's all about pushing each other to do the best that you can."
Following are the top five finishers in each division:
1 - Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE) - 13:16
2 - Fiona Symington (LOE) - 13:43
3 - Katie Chomiak (LOE) - 13:52
4 - Meredith Kusnierczyk (LOE) - 13:56
5 - Samantha Micelotta (LOE) - 14:31
1 - Aidan MacKenzie (CFD) - 18:06
2 - Kendyn Mashinter (LOE) - 18:13
3 - Jack Heaphy (STB) - 18:13
4 - André Larocque (CND) - 18:33
5 - Ayden Trudeau (ESMC) - 19:00
1 - Nathalie Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 13:08
2 - Jayde Hurley (LOE) - 13:28
3 - Jaime Schweyer (MMT) - 14:18
4 - Sydney Wachnuck (LAS) - 14:29
5 - Kamryn Butler (LCS) - 14:51
1 - Augustin Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 16:38
2 - Connor Jermyn (LOE) - 17:25
3 - Ethan Sheppard (LCS) - 17:51
4 - Callum Bruser (LOE) - 19:21
5 - Nathan Stagg (LCS) - 19:40
1 - Sydney Tarini (LOE) - 12:35
2 - Allison Caswell (LOE) - 12:55
3 - Madi Kellestine (LOE) - 14:30
4 - Emma McDougall (LCS) - 14:38
5 - Kate Richards (LOE) - 15:08
1 - Ben Lagadin (LIV) - 16:37
2 - Jacxsen Cress (LIV) - 17:28
3 - James Munro (LAS) - 17:42
4 - Stavros Gallant (LCS) - 18:52
5 - Dawson Nootchtai (STB) - 19:14