Falcon runner gets up for hills
Cross-country: Rosie Bouchard wins at zones, STS going for eighth provincial title
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 12:43 pm
She’s got a Falcon across her chest when she runs, but maybe a “Mountain goat” would be better.
Because the steeper the hill, the better for Foothills Falcon cross-country runner Rosie Bouchard.
“I like the hills more than the flats,” the Grade 11 Bouchard said after winning her second consecutive high school zone championship last week. “I feel like I can go ahead of people on the hills because they get tired. I can make up the distance.”
Bouchard powered her way to a first-place finish in the Intermediate girls 4,000m in a time of 16:20 at the South Central high school zones in Sundre on Oct. 11.
She finished nearly two minutes ahead Morgan Hale of Bassano.
Bouchard had it half right about the hills. Sure, the other runners got tired on the Sundre slopes, but she didn’t have to make up any distance. She practically led from the firing of the starter’s gun.
“I tried to stay with the other runners for about 20m and then I just took off,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard has no problem with the distance, she spent the summer running in the 5K MEC series and she won a few.
She also was the fastest female in 5k at the Sheep River Road Race.
“It’s nice because when I get down to the 4K it seems like I have more energy,” she said. “That extra ‘K’ helps me.”
Bouchard’s next race is the high school cross-country championships in Edmonton on Oct. 21.
She was third at provincials in the Junior girls last year at 3,000.
However, unlike the ups-and-downs of the Sundre course, Bouchard is keeping an even keel.
“I just want to do the best that I can do,” Bouchard said. “I think I am faster than last year and I have been practicing more.
“I am more prepared for it and not as nervous.”
Going for eight
The numbers are there, but more importantly so is the talent for the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans to win their eighth consecutive 2A high school cross-country provincial championship.
“We had a little bit of a drop in terms of the female running population but the guys made up for it by being a really strong and well-numbered team,” said Spartans coach Rob Lederer.
“We have the same number of runners who qualified (for provincials) as last year. If we run as well as we did last year we will be okay.”
The Spartans were led by Grade 10 runner Lauryn Lubarsky who finished second in the Junior girls 3,000m at 13:49.
“She is going to be a top runner for the next few years,” Lederer said. “She is top-notch.”
The top 18 runners in each division a zones advance to provincials. There were six girls and nine boys who qualified for the Spartans.
Spencer Kalnicki was the top finisher male finisher for the Spartans in Strathmore. He was fourth in the Intermediate boys 5,000m.
Top 5 Knights
A Holy Trinity Academy Knight had to push a little harder at the end in order to climb a bit higher at hilly Sundre.
Kiera Tennant’s extra effort enabled her to step up to the podium in the Senior girls 4,000m.
“The top five girls were all together at the end it was like a free-for-all,” Tennant said. “There’s a downhill at the end and you have to concentrate on keeping control and then it was a sprint to the finish. I was able to get to third on the sprint.”
She was delighted to see the hills in Sundre.
“This is the best I have done so far — I loved that course because of the hills,” Tennant said. “I don’t know what it was, the weather, the hills, but I was able to push at the end.”
Tennant hopes to finish in the top 20 at provincials on Saturday.
Knight Bruce Bond finished fifth in the Senior boys 6,000m.
“I wanted to finish in the top five so I was happy with that,” Bond said. “I knew the course was going to be harder than it was at divisionals (Oct. 4 at Red Deer Lake). The Sundre course kind of threw off my pacing but I was happy with my time.”
He used some familiarity to help stay with the contenders.
“My strategy was to run with a couple of STS guys who I have been competing against for the past seven years,” Bond said. “They were my marks to run with and that’s what I did and was able to stay with the top pack.”
Bond’s time was 25:20 in Sundre.
His goal for provincials is to finish in the top 20, after cracking the top 40 the past two years.
“I have put a lot more time into training this year than previous years,” Bond said. “I am a lot more confident this year.”
Athletes from the Foothills area who qualified from zones in Sundre were:
Junior (3,000m) — 2, Lauryn Lubarsky, STS, 13:49; 8. Nyah Chernoff, STS, 14:57; 18. Taylor Nevins-Layte, HTA, 16:09.8
Intermediate (4,000m) — 1. Rosie Bouchard, Foothills, 16:20; 3. Amy Bianchini, Highwood, 19:08; 8. Ireland Lawson, HTA, 20:34; 11; Megan Evans, STS, 21:05; 12. Sydney Sicotte, Highwood, 21:06; 13. Emma Cross, STS, 21:10; 14. Lola Hall, Highwood, 21:38; 15, Sophia Fraser, NDC, 21:38; 17. Halla Kharfan, STS, 21:42
Senior (4,000m) — 3. Kiera Tennant, HTA, 19:15; 7. Holly Mills, HTA, 20:36; 13. Camryn William, HTA, 21:54; 15. Cassidy Read, Highwood, 22:13; 17. Emily Black, STS, 22:35
Junior (4,000m) — 8. Josh Durand, Foothills, 16:23; 9. Hudson Hall, Highwood, 16:25; 10. Cooper Perron, STS, 16:27; 11. Sam Jobson, Foothills, 16:36
Intermediate (5,000m) — 5. Matthew Beingessner, STS, 23:07; 14. Duncan Kennedy, Foothills, 23:56; 16. Jeremy Pierce Lord, STS, 24:05; 17. Konrad Krusche, STS, 24:16; 15. Treyton Niemans, Highwood, 16:58; 16. Bishneet Singh, STS, 17:00; 17. Matthew Baker, STS, 17:01
Senior (6,000m) — 4. Spencer Kalnicki, STS, 25:11; 5. Bruce Bond, HTA, 25:20; 10. Kyle Webster, STS, 26:06; 11. Nate McCallum, NDC, 26:31 13. Oliver Turski, STS, 27:20