A longer senior girls course seems to be gaining traction in the northern B.C. high school cross-country running zones.
At the first meet of the year, hosted in Revelstoke, senior girls and boys ran the same 5.7-kilometre course, while junior boys and girls took on the same four-kilometre course.
“The north zones are trying to work on gender equity at our races,” said Revelstoke Secondary School cross-country coach Jeff Wilson. “Courses have always been shorter for the girls and I think that sends the wrong message to our high school students.”
The race on Oct. 4 was the first of the season, which will see students in Vernon on Oct. 11 and Salmon Arm on Oct. 18.
The mostly flat course took runners around the green belt area near the Illecillewaet River with the start and finish area near the skate park.
“It’s a stunning location with the pedestrian bridge across the Illecillewaet River and I find it’s a great way to showcase our area to these high schools that come from all over our region,” said Wilson, who organized the event.
Before the senior girls heat began, he told them about the longer distance.
“You guys are doing a longer course than last year but we felt that this was appropriate and sends the right message to you guys,” he said.
Then, paraphrasing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 remarks on the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canada, he said, “Beacuse it’s 2017.”
Three Revelstoke Secondary School students hit the podium at their home race.
Grade 12 student Alana Brittin was second behind Seaton’s Annika Ariano. The senior girls podium was rounded out by Salmon Arm Secondary’s Kate Milne.
“I like how they made the senior girls longer because last year they just did the four kilometre. Now they made the senior boys and girls equal,” said Brittin. “I think the senior girls should run longer.”
The top senior girls teams were Salmon Arm Secondary and Seaton High School.
In the senior boys division, Revelstoke’s Hayden Mallett was second. Seaton’s Braden Kersey was first, while Ian Oliphant and RSS’ Erik Brosch tied for third.
“I was going to try to keep up with the guy in the lead, but then he dropped me,” said Mallett, who is in his first season of cross-country. “It was a good race.”
The top senior boys teams were Salmon Arm Secondary and Seaton High School.
Salmon Arm Secondary School’s Phoebe Barnes was first in the junior girls division with Schuswap Middle School’s Samantha Vukadinovic in second and Salmon Arm’s Lys Milne in third.
Other Revelstoke results included Kolibri Drobish in fourth, Jaclyn Elliorr in ninth, Zoe Larsen in 18th, Eden Thomas in 21st, Arianna Morrone in 31st and Cedar Cameron-Harding in 32nd.
The top junior girls teams were: Salmon Arm Secondary in first, Schuswap Middle School in second and Revelstoke Secondary School in third.
Salmon Arm Secondary’s Stephen Moore was first in the junior boys division with Eagle River School’s Garrett Dale in second and Vernon Secondary School’s Carter Leahy in third.
Francesco Morrone was the top Revelstoke runner in seventh with Pierric Pasteur in eighth and Elliot Wilson in 11th.
The top junior boys teams were: Salmon Arm Secondary in first, Vernon Secondary in second and Revelstoke Secondary in third.