As the cross-country season progresses, the trees are dropping their colorful leaves around the course of Brooklyn Elementary, but we are picking up runners – literally and figuratively. We added three athletes to the fold today for the 4-kilometre race and two others were picked up shortly after the finish line of their 6-kilometre race. Somewhat oddly, we are a polar team with eight juniors and eight seniors. I think that’s a record number of juniors. Super.
I would like to write: The highlight for me today was… but, there were so many highlights that it would be like so many first-year university students who make nightlights out of their textbooks. That said… After Eli Strum ‘28 nearly ran himself into the ground during his first race ever last week (way to push!), Brodi Robinson and I weren’t sure if he’d be back this week. Not only was he back to push himself, again, but he wanted to stick around to see senior teammates run their race. Yay! Frequent readers of these cross-country sagas will know that the question I ask everyone after a race is: Could you have run faster? For the past two races Ken Hojo ‘27 has honestly answered in the affirmative, but not today! Today he said that he definitely could not have run faster – super! Our third in the trio of junior boys, Finn Turner-Galaise ‘26 had another solid race, and I definitely noticed that he passed people that he had not previously passed. That may seem so-so, but it’s GREAT! Not everyone can say that. I should also add that he twice offered to give up his shotgun seat in the van – such a nice guy!
The junior girls were energetically fantastic – and that began with so much laughing and having fun in the van ride. No, actually, this began with me walking into my classroom to grab the last of the cross-country uniforms and having two new junior girls waiting for me. Why? Because they wanted to race! Does an introduction get any better? This was how I met Maggie Wellard ‘28 and Sawyer Harris ‘28. Thinking this day couldn’t improve from here, I walked out to see another rookie for KES cross country, Laura Oulton ‘27 waiting at the vans wanting to race. Three new athletes willing to try, willing to step on the start line! That’s a great day. Last week we had a second and third finish in Natalia Shaw ‘27 and Ali MacLean ’27. This week these fast girls sprinted to the finish of a deeper field in fourth-fifth with MacLean getting her foot across by a foot of Shaw. Then they celebrated!
Keep in mind that I am saying this with a positive spin, but the senior racers seemed like a series of train wrecks. Of our eight runners, we had one recovering from an oral series of fast-food removals the night before; one was trying their best to cough up a lung; one would have been in less pain with a broken leg; and another forgot (I hope) about our race and came directly from cadets in their cargo pants – and ran in them! There was a whole lot of pain going on, and if you happen to see Quinn Emery ‘22, Paula Tschritter ‘23, Beatrice Turner-Galaise ‘24, and Owen Seely ‘22 give them a pat on the back for a tough race ran. Running in a deeper field, Stanislav Matkovskyi ’22 moved up one position from last week to eighth today in the 6-kilometre senior division. Surfing the waves this weekend (along with Tschritter), and powering home to a strong finish after running a very evenly paced race (yay!) was Sophie Christiansen ‘23. As any cross-country runner will attest, there is nothing better than running 5900 meters of a 6000-meter course and then having someone want to sprint past you in the remaining meters. Such was the position that August Henrici ‘23 unhappily found himself in as he happily approached the finish line, now at top speed. Let there be no doubt that August can sprint. Bella Turner-Galaise ‘22 had her absolutely best race today as she ran the three loops of the 6-kilometre race very consistently.
This wraps up our league races. Our harriers are next in action at the Western Region Championships on Monday, October 18 at Osprey Ridge Golf Course. Here they plan to qualify for the provincial championship races on Monday, October 25. Wish them luck!
A special thank you to Shari Hadley for driving a third van for our newly enlarged team, and to Kim Shanks for making that possible. A very special thank you to the KES kitchen crew led by Twila MacDonald for keeping the meals warm as our kids raced for the most important line today – the food line!
Senior School TeacherCross Country, Track and Field, Swimming Coach