An exciting championship was held at Jericho Beach in Vancouver last week on November 7, where Riverside’s cross country team, coached by Mr. Philip Barrington, and Ms. Tara Keating placed in the top twenty. Olivia Willet was one of the top members of her team, and also the one to take the top twenty title by reaching fourteenth place. It wasn’t easy though, as it rained the entire time, and the terrain was covered in mud.
The 4.6km race ran partially through the forest, going over grass and dirt, but the rain converted it all to mud, making the race significantly harder. “There isn’t really a good way to cross through the mud, I just looked for the drier spots to run on,” said Willet. This still is common cross country weather, however, since the sport runs in rain or shine. “The hills also made it a lot harder, because with the mud it’s easy to slip down the slope,” said Willet.
The competition was fierce, and other teams were eager as well. “The most important thing for me or the rest of the team is that our runners run as hard as they can. If you come out of the race and you are still able to walk and are not out of breath, you didn’t really give it your all. The whole team definitely did though,” said Barrington. “One of our runners, Jack Hamilton, is mainly a hockey player, but he still managed to get to the top fifty in junior boys.” It is certainly hard to advance with the intense competition from all teams.
The team’s runners worked hard for their individual best, but what about the team in general and as a whole? “I say that the team did quite well in comparison with a lot of other teams, but it’s hard to judge. Our runners are all different, and on different skill levels. Each team has its own spectrum,” said Barrington. “Not all of the team members are elite runners. Anna Benson, for example, once ran 4.7km in sixteen minutes. Not all of the team can manage that,” said Barrington. Still, everybody tried their best and the team did very well. The team’s runners in grade 11 are Olivia Willet, Bradley Gee, Duncan Kelt and Cain Beebe. In grade 12, Foster Dolling, and in grade 10, Jack Hamiltion.