Zone cross country champions crowned
St. Francis’ Nicholas Young and Notre Dame’s Santiago Gaitan cross the finish line together Thursday in the senior boys race at the Zone 3 and 4 cross country meet held in Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls.
Beamsville’s Owen Konkle cruised to an easy victory Thursday in the para division at Zone 3 and 4 cross country meet at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls.
With no one pushing him, the 18-year-old had to focus on other things.
“I tried to keep my pace and keep breathing,” he said. “It was cold.”
The win was the first step for Konkle on his way to defending his Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations gold medal win in the intellectual disability division.
He is already thinking about the provincial race.
“I want to do my best and beat my personal best,” he said.
This spring, Konkle won OFSAA track and field gold medals in the 100 metres and 800 metres, setting a meet record in the latter event.
“He does a little bit of everything, but he loves sprinting and his favourite is the 800 metres,” said Jennifer Korstanje, Konkle’s coach and mother. “He is pretty good at long distances, but he doesn’t particularly like it.”
Konkle started running cross country in elementary school and he usually finished in the middle of the pack. He didn’t know there was a para division at high school cross country in Grade 9 so he didn’t run until Grade 10. He was one of the first boys para racers in Niagara in cross country.
“I do it for fun,” he said. “I like running for fun.”
ABBY JACKSON TOPS MIDGET GIRLS
Thursday’s overall winner of the midget girls division at the Zone 3 and 4 cross country meet at Firemen’s Park is considering the possibility of joining a track club.
“I could see myself doing it but I also play hockey and soccer and I don’t have a lot of time. But I would want to,” said Abby Jackson, a Grade 9 student at Westlane.
The 14-year-old, who last year won the Grade 8 division at the District School Board of Niagara cross country meet, plays soccer with Niagara Falls United and suits up in hockey with a Brock Junior Badgers AA squad.
Hockey is her favourite sport, with soccer and cross country tying for second.
“It’s fun sometimes and practising is a good workout,” she said about cross country.
Abby went into Thursday’s race with a plan.
“I thought this other girl was going to win so I tried to stay with a top person and try to win at the end,” she said.
Her goals for the season are to make it to OFSAA and go from there.
‘I am hoping to come top 50 at OFSSA,” she said.
MASON PETRUCCI TOPS MIDGET BOYS
Mason Petrucci had a simple strategy at Thursday’s midget boys race in the Zone 3 and 4 cross country championships at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls.
“I tried to give it my all and do the best I could physically,” the Grade 9 student at St. Francis said. “It’s about your start and finish, keeping pace and finishing strong.”
The 14-year-old did exactly that winning the overall title to go with the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association title he garnered last week.
Mason has been running cross country since Grade 4 and last year won the Niagara Catholic Grade 8 boys title.
“I am going to keep running in high school and see how far I can make it at SOSSA and OFSAA and maybe I can look for a scholarship.”
He has high goals for this fall’s racing schedule.
“My goal is to try and win SOSSA and, at OFSAA, I want to get in the top 10.”
Mason isn’t a member of any track club and describes himself as a hobby runner.
“I do it in my spare time,” he said.
He plays Ontario Provincial League soccer in Hamilton and also suits up with the St. Francis junior volleyball squad.
His other sporting pursuits help make him a strong runner.
“I keep up physically with my fitness level and with my nutrition,” he said.
Mason does enjoy running.
“I like competing because that’s what I do all the time,” he said. “I always want to win and because it’s an individual sport, you don’t have to rely on your teammates.
Sir Winston Churchill swept the boys, girls and combined titles in Zone 4 while E.L. Crossley did the same in Zone 3.
Following are team and individual results from the Zone 3 and Zone 4 cross country meet:
Para girls: 1. Cassie Kemp, Collegiate; 2. Shannon Swinson, Beamsville; 3. Julianne Miszk, Saint Michael.
Para boys: 1. Owen Konkle, Beamsville; 2. Rolon Andres, Collegiate; 3. Andrew McIntyre, Saint Michael; 4. Joseph Nokeo, Eden; 5. Josh Vandenbeukel, Eden.
Zone 4 midget girls individual: 1. Payton Tonnos, Eden; 2. Bianca Salierno, Churchill; 3. Isabella Goveia, Churchill; 4. Hayley Morey, Eden; 5. Emily Reimer, Churchill.
Zone 4 midget girls teams: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (Salierno, Goveia, Reimer and Dana Ali); 2. Eden (Tonnos, Morey, Gabrielle Johnson and Pauline Kotz); 3. Blessed Trinity (Emily Haynes, Kayla Griffin, Julie Proulx and Autumn Livermore).
Zone 3 midget girls individual: 1. Abby Jackson, Westlane; 2. Lauren Fennell, Crossley; 3. Mia Nanini, Jean Vanier; 4. Ella Robert, Lakeshore Catholic; 5. Marissa Palmateer, Crossley.
Zone 3 midget girls team: E.L. Crossley (Fennell, Palmateer, Trinity Young and Isabella Walker).
Zone 3 midget boys individual: 1. Adam Kleinsmith, Crossley; 2. Asher Willett, Lakeshore Catholic; 3. Matthew Bennett, Saint Paul; 4. Connor Pelletier, Port Colborne; 5. Kyle Mullin, Lakeshore Catholic.
Zone 3 midget boys teams: 1. Port Colborne (Pelletier, Preston Fraser, Owen LaMarsh and Evan Olm); 2. Lakeshore Catholic (Willett, Mullin, Steven Taras and Thomas. Mete); 3. E.L. Crossley (Kleinsmith, Nathan Freure, Sebastien Miceli and Matthew Jinks).
Zone 4 midget boys individual: 1. Mason Petrucci, St. Francis; 2. Reese Arnold, Blessed Trinity; 3. Aidan Reynolds, Denis Morris; 4. Evan Beach, Blessed Trinity; 5. Maddox Harrison, Governor Simcoe.
Zone 4 midget boys teams: 1. Blessed Trinity (Arnold, Beach, James Lawson and Jordan McNally); 2. Eden (Myles Radersma, Sawyer Ropp, Jalen Beaulieu and Austin Morrison); 3. Sir Winston Churchill (Alex Hall, Miles Walker, Gary Lin and Jeff Dommasch).
Zone 4 junior girls individual: 1. Amy Baggs, Eden; 2. Aria Heil, Grimsby; 3. Camryn Bylsma, Great Lakes; 4. Demi Maroudas, Eden; 5. Drew Smith, Blessed Trinity.
Zone 4 junior girls teams: 1. Eden (Baggs, Maroudas, Ally Moran, Yelyzaveta Bushareb); 2. Blessed Trinity (Smith, Olympia Myers, Bianca Faeaci and Makayla Beauvais); 3. Sir Winston Churchill (Eva Speck, Sara Mateus, Leah Vermue and Meridith De Roos).
Zone 3 junior girls individual: 1. Alissa Mete, Notre Dame; 2. Tessa Jeffery, Crossley; 3. Crystal Coyne, Crossley; 4. Lauren Knafelc, Crossley; 5. Molly Devereux, Greater Fort Erie.
Zone 3 junior girls team: 1. E.L. Crossley (Jeffery, Coyne, Knafelc and Molly Hildebrandt).
Zone 3 junior boys individual: 1. Adam Woefl, Greater Fort Erie; 2. Colton Sawatzky, Crossley; 3. Matthew Roda, Notre Dame; 4. Johnathon Klauck, Lakeshore Catholic; 5. Noah Warkentin, Greater Fort Erie.
Zone 3 junior boys teams: 1. E.L. Crossley (Sawatzky, Patrick Fidler, Evan Van Vliet and Donovan Fenton); 2. Notre Dame (Roda, Erik Williston, Juan Reyes and Ethan Engel); 3. Lakeshore Catholic (Klauck, Jake Magnus, David Gilles and Aidan Gruchot).
Zone 4 junior boys individual: 1. Eric Campbell, Churchill; 2. Owen Lockyer, Eden; 3. Tyler Woodland, Smithville Christian; 4. Riley Coles, Churchill; 5. Jack Chios, St. Francis.
Zone 4 junior boys teams: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (Campbell, Coles, Lachlan Nelson and Nathanial Smyth); 2. Blessed Trinity (Lucas Cino, Frank Adzijevich, Damian Erzar and Dylan Pergentile); 3. St. Francis (Chios, Eesa Huq, Thomas Piller and Maceo Tripodi).
Zone 3 senior girls individual: 1. Kate Knafelc, Crossley; 2. Larissa Adamo, Myer; 3. Kaitlyn Palmateer, Crossley; 4. Lauren Macsai, Lakeshore Catholic; 5. Brenna Ainslie, Westlane.
Zone 3 senior girls team: 1. Saint Paul (Taylor Jamieson-Nicholls, Olivia Diodati, Anjelaya Fulcher and Megan Helmeczi); 2. Lakeshore Catholic (Lauren Macsai, Cori Macsai, Margaret Taras and Susan Santillan); 3. E.L. Crossley (Knafelc, Palmateer, Emilie Hamilton and Grieda Zsikla).
Zone 4 senior girls individual: 1. Shayla Kuzyk, Churchill; 2. Mackenzie Damiano, Laura Secord; 3. Monica DeBoer, Smithville Christian; 4. Jenna Coles, Churchill; 5. Madelyn Noonan, Governor Simcoe.
Zone 4 senior girls teams: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (Kuzyk, Coles, Lauren Brooks and Abigail Greenough); 2. Smithville Christian (DeBoer, Sophie McMullin, Katrina Heeg and Janelle Buist); 3. Blessed Trinity (Ava Ricker-Singh, Ilena Ricker-Singh, Madeline DeBoer and Halle Zachar).
Zone 3 senior boys individual: 1. Santiago Gaitan, Notre Dame; 2. Derian Free, Crossley; 3. Zack Pasma, Crossley; 4. Elliott Song, Crossley; 5. Neil Wangler, Niagara Christian.
Zone 3 senior boys teams: 1. E.L. Crossley (Free, Pasma, Song and Aidan Clarke); 2. Notre Dame (Gaitan, Graeme Staples, Nelson Collee and Seth Rao); 3. A.N. Myer (Rourke Mather, Davis Gollert, Nick Simmonds and Justice Ball).
Zone 4 senior boys individual: 1. Nicholas Young, St. Francis; 2. Taylor Mowat, Churchill; 3. Ethan Girard, Churchill; 4. Sacha Schimmelpenninck, Churchill; 5. Harry Lengyel, Churchill.
Zone 4 senior boys teams: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (Mowat, Girard, Schimmelpenninck and Lengyel); 2. Eden (Carter McMaster, Evan Stewart, Mark Kondejewski and Hunter Willis); 3. Blessed Trinity (Michael Huber, Cole Arnold, Lucas Celia and Reese Arnold).
In addition to primary high school sports sponsors Mick and Angelo’s (https://www.mickandangelos.com) and Johnny Rocco’s (http://www.johnnyroccos.com), BPSN’s coverage of the fall high school cross country season is made possible with the support of the Niagara Olympic Club (https://nocrunners.com).