Not since Olympian Kevin Sullivan was in high school can North Park’s cross country coach remember such a strong contingent of local runners.
“I don’t think we’ve won a team championship at (the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association) here at North Park since Sullivan was running for us,” Ian Blott said. “This is a testament to what Cory Currie has been doing at the Brantford Track and Field Club.”
Eleven local runners will be making the trip to Brampton next weekend to participate in the provincial high school cross country championships.
Seven of them train with Without Limits Personal Training coach Currie out of the Brantford Track and Field Club.
“That is a new club record to send so many kids to the (Ontario Federation of School Athletics Associations) cross country championships,” Currie said. “I am very pleased.”
North Park’s Alex deVries, who recently set a record at a North American meet in New York State, came away with a gold medal in the CWOSSA midget girls race with a time of 10:57.9.
In the midget boys race, Paris District High School’s Kyle Madden fought back and earned a second place finish despite being tripped up at the starting line when he was tangled up with another runner.
Senior girls runner Cozette Collin from Assumption College finished fourth and earned a berth at OFSSA.
In the senior boys race, PDHS’ Brandon Thomas earned a bronze finish and St. John’s College student Tyler VanLeeuwen finished fifth – both of them earning a trip to OFSAA.
It was the senior boys race where the North Park team cleaned up and earned the CWOSSA team championship.
The team scoring championship takes into account the top four runners from a school and North Park’s top four runners all finished in the top 25 in the race, which featured 350 competitors.
Riley Malcolm finished sixth, Jacob Moore placed 12th, Ben Sayles finished 21st and Austin Solak finished 23rd.
Benjamin Sawicki will also compete at OFSSA thanks to his fifth place finish among North Park runners and Andrew Miller will travel to Brampton as the team alternate.
Blott was thrilled with the team championship and is looking for North Park to make some noise at OFSAA.
“I think they finished 10th last season at OFSAA after finishing second at CWOSSA,” Blott said. “I’d like to see a ribbon this season, maybe even a podium finish.
“That is a tall order, though. Cross country at the provincial championships comes down to schools having four club runners. We don’t have four and I expect there may be a few schools in the province that do.”
The OFSAA meet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton.