Sports

High school sports

Zone 3 and 4 cross country champions decided

By Bernie Puchalski

The Zone 3 and 4 cross country championships were held Tuesday at Firemen's Park In Niagara Falls.

The Zone 3 and 4 cross country championships were held Tuesday at Firemen's Park In Niagara Falls.

NIAGARA FALLS - 

Governor Simcoe’s Avery Goertz has made it to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association cross country championships in every year in high school career.

But it wasn’t until Tuesday’s Zone 3 and 4 high school meet at Firemen’s Park, that the 17-year-old could call herself a zone cross country champion.

“It was a weird feeling for me because I am not used to that,” said the Grade 12 student, who had the fastest time among all the Zone 3 and 4 senior girls competitors.

The Niagara Olympic Club member decided last winter to lift weights in an effort to take her running career to a new level.

“It’s my senior year and I really want to go out with a bang and I want to show universities what I can accomplish,” she said. “I decided I was going to give it my all.”

Since the winter, she has stepped up her training even more.

“My training is more serious this year and I have been taking it a lot more seriously,” she said. “I am pushing myself harder on my off days and I’m going to the gym now and doing weights and I’m also swimming to cross train.”

This spring, she saw the results of her hard work during the track and field season.

She placed third in the 1,500 metres at South Regionals and made it to OFSAA, where illness prevented her from producing a top performance.

“I ran nine seconds faster than the previous year which was a big improvement for me,” she said. “Coming off of that, I wanted to keep it going.

Her goals for OFSAA cross country are to place in the top 40.

Gaitan top junior boy

Notre Dame’s Santiago Gaitan vividly recalls his first appearance at the provincial high school cross country meet in Grade 9.

“I made it to OFSSA but I did really bad,” the 14-year-old said. “I didn’t own spikes and I didn’t run with a club.”

Disappointed with his showing, he asked his high school cross country coach, Tara Markovich, to find him a club and she recommended Niagara Regional Athletics.

“They offered me a two-practice free trial and I really like it,” the Grade 10 student said. “It’s a really good club and I’ve learned a lot over the last year.”

The final piece of his running puzzle came two months ago when his friend Isaac Lapp, a fellow Niagara Regional Athletics member, gave him a pair of spikes. On Tuesday, Gaitan had the fastest junior boys time among all competitors at the Zone 3 and 4 track and field meet at Firemen’s Park.

Even bigger for him was finishing ahead of runnerup Nicholas Young of St. Francis.

“He always beats me and I wanted to beat him today,” Gaitan said.

Gaitan, who was fourth at OFSAA this spring in the 3,000 metres and sixth in the 1,500 metres, won the 3,000 metres at South Regionals and finished second to Young in the 1,500 metres.

Ainslie top midget girl

Westlane’s Brenna Ainslie has picked up right where her elementary school running career ended.

The Grade 9 student had the fastest midget girls time among all competitors at the Zone 3 and 4 cross country meet Tuesday at Firemen’s Park, finishing 41 seconds ahead of the next closest runner.

In her final year of elementary school, the 14-year-old won the District School Board of Niagara cross country, 1,500-metre and 800-metre title and placed third in the 400 metres. The Niagara Regional Athletics member also won the DSBN cross country title in Grade 6 and 7.

“I really prefer distance,” the 14-year-old said. “It’s easier to out-last people than go faster than people.”

She surprised herself with how well she did Tuesday in her first Zone 3 and 4 championship, but it shouldn’t have been unexpected.

“I’ve been training harder this year because it’s high school,” said Ainslie, who trains three times a week at Niagara Regional Athletics. “My goal is to go to OFSAA, but I don’t know what to expect.”

The Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) meet will be held Thursday, Oct. 27 at Firemen’s Park.

Following are individual results from the Zone 3 and 4 high school cross country meet at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls.

ZONE 4 GIRLS

Midget girls: 1. Kaley DeMont, Churchill; 2. Sophie McMullin, Smithville Christian; 3. Olivia Morey, Eden; 4. Madeline deBoer, Blessed Trinity; 5. Halle Zachar, Blessed Trinity.

Junior girls: 1. Ava Ricker, Blessed Trinity; 2. Gracie Johnson, Churchill; 3. Andrea Miotto, Denis Morris; 4. Alexandra Hall, Laura Secord; 5. Maddie Noonan, Governor Simcoe.

Senior girls: 1. Avery Goertz, Governor Simcoe; 2. Madeleine Nolan, St. Francis; 3. Kayla McGowan, Eden; 4. Danielle Orlando, Denis Morris; 5. Abby Nickerson, Blessed Trinity.

Midget boys: 1. Sacha Schimmelpenninck, Churchill; 2. Samuel Nolan, St. Francis; 3. Carter McMaster, Eden; 4. Corbin Atkinson, Churchill; 5. Stacy Lowe, Churchill.

Junior boys: 1. Nicholas Young, St. Francis; 2. Jared Attema, Smithville Christian; 3. Alex Meffe, Churchill; 4. Ethan Girard, Churchill; 5. Harry Lengzel, Churchill.

Senior boys: Campbell Lee, Holy Cross; 2. Theo Hassim, Churchill; 3. Owen Bachelor, Churchill; 4. Logan Martineau, Holy Cross; 5. Spencer Hudspith, Laura Secord.

ZONE 3

Midget girls: 1. Brenna Ainslie, Westlane; 2. Cori Mascai, Lakeshore Catholic; 3. Lauren Mascai, Lakeshore Catholic; 4. Ella Whahen, Saint Michael; 5. Jessie Zheng, Myer.

Junior girls: 1. Kate Knafelc, E.L. Crossley; 2. Larissa Adamo, Myer; 3. Taylor Nicholls, Saint Paul; 4. Margaret Taras, Lakeshore Catholic; 5. Emma Hilts, E.L. Crossley.

Senior girls: 1, Kayleigh Bush, Myer; 2. Cate Gualtieri, E.L. Crossley; 3. Kaelen Partridge, E.L. Crossley; 4. Jessie Fennell, E.L. Crossley; 5. Britney McKee, Lakeshore Catholic.

Midget boys: 1. Kyle Hannon-Kozlowski, Notre Dame; 2. Graeme Staples, Notre Dame; 3. Josiah Forde, Saint Paul; 4. Drew Colangelo, E.L. Crossley; 5. Matthew Diraddo, E.L. Crossley.

Junior boys: 1. Santiago Gaitan, Notre Dame; 2. Derian Free, E.L. Crossley; 3. Andrew Suthons, E.L. Crossley; 4. Jacob Gula, E.L. Crossley; 5. Neil Wangler, E.L. Crossley.

Senior boys: 1. Brock Deba, E.L. Crossley; 2. Owen Grabell, E.L. Crossley; 3. Isaac Lapp, Ridgeway-Crystal Beach; 4. David Shepherd, E.L. Crossley; 5. Jared Carter, E.L. Crossley.