Runners strive to prove themselves
Cross-country: South Central Zone championship Oct. 9 in Canmore
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 11:58 am
There’s nothing like having something to prove to give you that extra push during a long run.
Foothills Falcon Graham Strang and Holy Trinity Academy Knight Matthew Mundy had that extra drive as they won their respective categories in the Foothills Divisional cross-country meet on Oct. 1 at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School.
Mundy finished well ahead of the pack in winning the Senior boys 6,000m in a time of 27:20.
“Last year I came 11th in this race — it was 5K for Intermediates so I guess the extra K helped,” Mundy said. “I have grown six inches this year, so that might have helped too.”
He’s also matured as a runner.
“This year it was also mental,” Mundy said. “I have learned to push myself even when I am tired going up a hill.”
Mundy used the same strategy as last year, but his new attitude helped him not to burn out or to fade away.
“Last year I went out fast and I was tired when I got to the bottom of the hill (about 500m into the race),” the Grade 12 student said.
“This year, I settled down a bit, and, like I said, the mental thing, once I got to the bottom of the hill, I just kept going.”
He said he hopes to keep mentally strong as he gets set for the South Central Zone meet on Oct. 9 at the Canmore Nordic Centre. His goal is to make provincials by finishing in the top 15 at zones.
“Last year I missed going to provincials by about six places,” he said. “I’m hoping to make the cut this year. Canmore has lots of hills, so I have to push myself.”
Foothills Falcon Graham Strang wanted to prove to himself and to others he was a top athlete at the divisional meet.
The Grade 10 student did it by finishing first in the Junior boys 4,000m at divisionals at 17:31.
“I want to show people that I can,” Strang said of his motivation. “I played eight years of hockey and I didn’t get much recognition. Being able to switch to cross-country and track, it would be pretty nice to prove I am a serious athlete.”
He had a game plan for running the hilly course.
“My strategy was to stay up front and try to pull away a bit in the valley so I didn’t have to sprint against someone else at the end,” said Strang, who took the lead about a kilometre into the race.
“I waited about two-and-a-half K and I really took off from there. There was a guy about 20 metres behind me and I was able to make the gap a lot larger.”
Last year, Strang finished in the top five at divisionals, but he was disappointed with his 18th place finish at zones. His goal this year is to finish top five at zones.
The Grade 10 Strang has trained hard, both with his roadwork and with the University of Calgary Dinos track club in the last year.
“I enjoy that this is an individual sport,” he said. “That you don’t have to rely on anybody else for your results — your results are based on your own work.”
Grade 12 Falcon Tiana Ewing was working hard during her convincing win in the Intermediate girls 4,000m race despite the fact she is more than comfortable running the distance.
“It actually felt a little longer than 4-K to be honest,” Ewing said with a chuckle. “That’s okay because I end up doing better with the longer distances.”
Her history proves it. Last year she was second at divisionals in the Junior division, a 3,000m race. She’s also used to running longer distances.
“I have run three half-marathons and this year I ran the Calgary half-marathon and I got fifth in the U-20 division in 1:47:16,” Ewing said.
She got the running bug in junior high school when she needed to build up her stamina for karate as a member for Team Alberta.
“I started running more and I really started to like it,” Ewing said. “I ran my first half marathon that summer.”
She didn’t have any expectations for divisionals, hoping to use it as a training run in preparation for zones. She finished sixth last year at zones, her goal is to get to on the podium in Canmore — especially since the course suits her style.
“The extra kilometre will help me and in Canmore there is one really big hill and I am a good hill climber,” she said. “I think it is to my advantage that we have to run it twice.”
As well as putting in the kilometres, she is also doing speed work. Ewing also runs intervals of 400m, 800m and 1,000m.
Although a Grade 12 student, Ewing is an Intermediate due to her late birthday.
In other results Strathcona-Tweedsmuir Spartan Gillian Ceyhan won the Senior girls (4,000m) in 18:51. Holy Trinity Academy’s Claire Thorimbert was not too far behind at 19:40. Ceyhan won the Intermediate provincial championship last season.
The top three finishes at the Foothills Divisional cross-country championships at STS:
Senior (4,000m) — 1. Gillian Ceyhan, STS, 18:51; 2. Claire Thorimbert, HTA, 19:40; 3. Sawera Dahiwal, 21:50, STS.
Intermediate (4,000m) — 1. Tiana Ewing, Foothills, 20:30; 2. Brynn McLellan, STS, 21:36; 3. Tamara Adamschek. Strathmore, 22:12.
Junior girls (3,000m) — 1. Nevada Nelson, Oilfields, 14:04; 2. Alisaa Webster, STS, 14:19; 3. Maria Fanning, Strathmore, 14:32.
Junior (4,000m) — 1. Graham Strang, Foothills, 17:31; 2. Saransh Loona, STS, 18:23; 3. Owen Wagner, Strathmore, 18:47.
Intermediate (5,000m) — 1. Angus Rawling, STS, 20:32; 2. Brandon Piercy, Edison, 21:47; 3. Cole Pernitsky, STS, 23:39.
Senior (6,000m) — 1. Matthew Mundy, HTA, 27:20; 2. Daniel Livergant, STS, 28:05; 3.
Jeremy Rose, STS, 28:53.