STS Spartans at eight and counting
Cross-country: Okotoks area school makes it eight in a row; Rosie Bouchard wins silver for Foothills
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 10:43 am
Quality more than quantity.
The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartans didn’t quite have the large contingent of number of runners they have had in previous Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association cross-country championships. But any way the numbers were added up it came to eight — as in the Spartans winning their eighth consecutive 2A schools (100 to 299 high school students) championship Saturday in Edmonton.
“Sometimes we overwhelm them with numbers to be able to win but this time we were outmatched in terms of numbers by a couple of schools,” said Spartans running coach Rob Lederer. “This time, we had a number of quality runners who did a great job.”
The Spartans took top spot in 2A with 1,026 points, nearly double that of Elk Point’s F.G. Miller Crusaders at 553. Numbers are accumulated by a runner receiving the reverse total of where he or she finished in relation to the number of runners. For example there were 144 runners in each race, the first-place runner gets 144 points and the last-place runner one.
The Spartans went to the Capital City with 14 runners. During their championship run, they have had as many as 22.
The Spartans top two runners were Lauryn Lubarsky who finished 20th in the Junior girls, 3,000m and Kyle Webster who was 27th in the Senior boys 5,000m.
Webster is a multi-sport athlete, who is currently playing on the STS volleyball team. He was a top cross-country runner at STS in junior high, before returning to the sport in his senior year.
“This year, he wanted to get back into it and make a difference and that’s what he did,” Lederer said.
The Grade 10 Lubarsky is another multisport athlete who loves to run. She has not too distant plans in the future to run a marathon.
“I have never had that before,” Lederer said. “She is going to a good runner for us for the next two years.”
The Spartan legacy is running through the STS halls.
“We have both teachers and staff saying ‘How many is this five or six? – No, it’s actually eight,’” Lederer said with a laugh. “Every year we can do it, it is a special thing.
“No one is jaded yet.”
Second, but gaining
A Foothills Falcon has turned in the school’s best performance in more than a decade at the provincial cross-country championships.
Rosie Bouchard finished second in the Intermediate girls 4,000m in a time of 16:09, just 11 seconds behind first-place Paige Patterson from Edmonton’s Bishop O’Leary High School.
“I am very happy with that,” the Grade 11 Bouchard said. “My strategy was to stay up in the front. I was in about fifth or sixth place for a lot of the race.”
The course consisted of two 2km laps. After the first lap, Bouchard and Patterson had separated themselves from the pack. However Patterson had a substantial lead on the fleet-footed Falcon.
“She was already quite far ahead,” Bouchard said. “I needed to get closer to her.”
Mission accomplished — sort of. She gained ground but wasn’t able to close the gap.
She estimated Patterson had a 30 second lead halfway through the race.
“I think I was about 18 seconds behind with about a kilometre to go and I was able to get it down to 12 seconds,” Bouchard said.
It’s the second-consecutive podium finish for Bouchard. She was third as a Junior at the provincials last season.
She is already thinking about next year and will train with the Big Rock Runners clinic held at the Crescent Point Regional Field House. The training sessions will start in mid-November.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights top runner was Kiera Tennant, who was 20th in the 4,000m senior girls. Knight Bruce Bond was 31st in the 6,000m senior boys.
To see full results go to www.asaa.ca