With all other fall high school sports shut down, organizers squeezed out a semblance of a Greater Victoria cross-country season with a little ingenuity.
Using a cycling-style time-trial method, runners were clocked running individually. Schools ran the Cedar Hill Golf Course chip trail on different days over two weeks with the times posted online.
“It was tough for the runners without anyone pushing them, but at least we got it done,” said Tom Turnbull, teacher and track and field coach of Lambrick Park Secondary.
“It was better than doing nothing.”
Aiden Grew of Lambrick Park won the senior boys’ title in 12 minutes, four seconds, with Julian Cameron of Oak Bay second in 12:25 and Flavius Meincke of St. Michaels University School third in 12:31.
Naeva Scott-Bouris of Reynolds (14:38) won the senior girls’ championship with Orla Scott (15:22) and Ines Ciccateri (15:27), both of Oak Bay, second and third. Carter Anderson of Lambrick Park (12:53) and Brianne McLeish of SMUS (15:25) were the respective boys’ and girls’ junior champions.
Lambrick Park Secondary conducted its 26th annual King and Queen of the Hill run up to the summit of Mount Douglas.
Grew, who is in Grade 11, won the boys’ title for the third consecutive year. He made it up in 6:51. Grade 12 student Teagan Hunt won the girls’ championship, for the third time in four years, in 9:02.
Next up for the runners could be the track and field season in the spring, pandemic conditions allowing. Last spring’s school sports were cancelled due to COVID-19. This fall’s school sports fell victim to the same.
“With the vaccines coming, maybe we can make it work in 2021 for the spring sports,” said Turnbull.
“That will mean the fall and spring sports will have missed one cycle each.”
If spring sports are not able to be played again, it will mean student-athletes in those sports graduating in 2021 will have had their entire Grade 11-12 high school sports careers wiped out.
There is no next season for graduating Grade 12 athletes.
“Everybody involved with organizing or coaching school sports really feels for the student athletes who have missed seasons,” said veteran mentor Turnbull, who will retire in the spring after 26 years at Lambrick Park.