Four Aces qualify for cross-country provincials
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 06:00 am
The Airdrie Aces Athletic Club cross-country team continued its dominant season at the Rocky View Sports Association Cross-Country Zone Oct. 11, with all four competing members earning a berth to provincials.
“This is another great step (for these athletes),” Matsuba-Szucs said. “I definitely think we are podium contenders at cross-country provincials.
“We’re in the peak competition phase right now. The boys are not getting any fitter for this season.”
Among those qualifying are Grade 12 athletes Alistair Baron and Michael Stewart of W.H. Croxford High School, Grade 11 Rudy Buchanan – representing George McDougall High School – and Grade 10 Aiden Good, who ran for the Hugh Sutherland High School in Carstairs.
Good – who is also the Aces team captain – led the charge with the highest finish, earning silver in the Grade 10 event. Stewart added to the metal haul with a 24-minute flat time in the six-kilometre (km) event, earning himself a bronze.
“(Good) could have won that race, he was silver by like two steps,” Matsuba-Szucs said.
Baron and Buchanan both finished seventh in their respective races to secure their places in provincials. Runners are required to finish in the top 18 to get an immediate berth to provincials.
Matsuba-Szucs said the high expectation she has for her team will continue Oct. 21 in Edmonton, when her runners take part in the ASAA provincials.
She added she believes Good and Stewart will be medal contenders and is hoping for a top-25 finish out of both Buchanan and Baron.
“I told them if they finish top 25 that would be amazing for 800 to 1,500 km runners…. You have to take that as a success,” Matsuba-Szucs said. “If you can finish higher than that, that’s a bonus.
“(It’s a) completely different category for them to be in and completely out of their comfort zone.”
The field of runners the athletes expected to compete with could be more than 140 in each event, but because all four Aces athletes have competed at provincials before, Matsuba-Szucs said she isn’t too worried about the size of the field.
The cross-country season isn’t quite over for the Aces following the ASAA provincials, as the team still has its club provincials in the form of the 2017 Alberta XC Provincials on Nov. 4 at Peace Hills Park in Wetaskiwin, Alta.