The Whistler Secondary School (WSS) cross-country team is celebrating a successful end to their season, despite facing several weather and logistical issues throughout the fall.
Grade 11 student Alyssa Cox is celebrating a particularly exciting accomplishment: she was the team’s lone runner to qualify for the B.C. High School Cross-Country Championships, which took place amidst snowy conditions at Vancouver’s Jericho Beach on Saturday (Nov. 4). She represented WSS well in the provincial race, placing 109th among the 242 racers who completed the Senior Girls event. She completed two laps of the course’s 2.3-kilometre loop in 21 minutes and seven seconds (21:07), just over four minutes behind the leader’s pace.
As a team, the Storm finished the season ranked 15th overall out of the 19 teams competing in the North Shore X-Country League, and ninth overall in the AA school team standings, based on points accumulated by individual runners through their race placings.
However, the WSS squad were only able to attend two out of the four scheduled races during the regular season. While the team was unable to attend the Sechelt race on the Sunshine Coast due to challenging logistics, the final race, which was scheduled to take place on the North Shore, was cancelled due to extreme weather.
Ahead of Cox’ appearance at provincials, the team’s regular season culminated with Zone Championships, held Oct. 25 at Don Ross Secondary School in Squamish. “It was definitely a good day to race at Don Ross — the rain stopped, and the course was well marked and the crew there did a great job of organizing and keeping the meet going,” wrote WSS’ head coach Diana De Man in an email.
An exciting highlight of the day was Cox’ 18th place finish in the Senior Girls race, which she achieved “in a sprint with two other runners right to the finish,” De Man explained.
Also racing in the Senior Girls event, Leah Brownlie finished off in 25th place, while Bianca Kodato came in 54th. As a team, Cox, Brownlie and Kodato also finished 8th in the 18-team field. Adam Turkington was the Storm’s lone runner in the Junior Boys race, placing 79th out of 98 runners. In the Junior Girls race, Marlie Molinaro came in 25th, directly followed by teammate Kacey Cox, who finished in 26th place, while Ella Crawford rounded out the WSS contingent in 50th place. As a trio, the girls also ranked 12th overall out of the field’s 19 teams.
Out of the runners who ranked in the individual league standings (for which you had to compete in a minimum of two races), Isabella Cross was WSS’ top finisher, placing sixth in the Juvenile Girls division.Teammate Molinaro finished 11th overall, while Ella Crawford ranked 18th overall.
In the Senior Girls category, Cox placed 12th in a field of 42, while Evan Allman finished 23rd overall amongst the 45 runners competing in the senior boys division.
“For the entire season I want to thank everyone who came out to practices, had fun, put in their best efforts and for giving at least one race a try,” De Man wrote. “It is always so much fun as a coach to have such a diverse group as part of a team and see everyone get better in small and big ways in such a short timeframe.”
De Man also offered her thanks to the parents who fulfilled chauffeur duties, to Joanne Molinaro for providing assistance during practices, and to WSS staff members Ann Robson and Katrina Chevrette for their help with administration and organization throughout