Churchill boys dominate Zone 4 meet
Sir Winston Churchill’s Marco Difelice placed first in the senior boys division at the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Zone 4 cross country meet Thursday at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls. PHOTO BY: BILL POTRECZ
Sir Winston Churchill’s Marco Difelice got off to a good start and made it stick to place first in the senior boys division at the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Zone 4 cross country meet Thursday at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls.
“I knew that if I stayed strong in the first loop (lap) then I could be in control in the second so I focused on staying in the community for the most part,” the 16-year-old, Grade 11 student said. “From there, I had enough energy and I was able to finish strong.”
Difelice finished the six-kilometre course in a time of 21:50.5. Owen Munnings of Smithville Christian High School was second at 22:16.2.
The Bulldogs took the overall boys senior division followed by Eden, Laura Secord, and Smithville Christian. Sir Winston also won the overall junior and novice boys divisions as well as the novice women’s division.
“I think the most important thing is that the team wins,” Difelice said.
Difelice began racing in Grade 9 and made it to OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) with Churchill’s novice team but missed out last year due to the pandemic.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t build momentum because of COVID,” he said. “Obviously with a year off, it’s really difficult but it just feels great to get back into racing, especially with great teammates that have stuck it through from Grade 9 until now.”
Difelice, who is a member of Runners’ Edge, isn’t sure where running will factor into his future.
“I don’t know if I want to do it after high school yet. I’m just playing it by ear right now. It’s going pretty well so maybe in the future, maybe not. I haven’t decided yet.”
Difelice previously played soccer at the club level but has given that up to concentrate solely on running.
Zone 4 senior boys individual: 1. Marco Difelice, Sir Winston Churchill (21:50.5); 2. Owen Munnings, Smithville Christian High School; 3. Matthew Taubeneck, Sir Winston Churchill; 4. Murtajiz Ali Rizvi, Laura Secord; 5. Chad Thorpe, Eden.
Zone 4 senior boys team: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (1. Marco Difelice; 3. Matthew Taubeneck; 8. Walker Rollo; 9. Lachlan Nelson; Redding Maxwell); 2. Eden; 3. Laura Secord; 4. Smithville Christian High School.
Fenway Breckles got an early start running.
The Governor Simcoe student began in Grade 4 at Dalewood Public School and found immediate success.
“I won the 1,500 and realized I was pretty fast,” he said. “I went into cross country and track every year and stuck with it ever since.”
Breckles continued his winning ways Thursday, crossing the finish line first in the junior boys race with a time of 17:18.2.
“My PB is 16:49 and that is what I was shooting for but I’m still pretty happy with it,” he said. “My goal was to win, so I’m happy.”
Breckles doesn’t try and split the atom when racing.
“I just think about random stuff and what I’m going to do that day or night,” he said.
Breckles was thrilled to be back on the course after COVID wiped out his Grade 9 running season.
“It was really great, it was hard to miss it last year,” he said.
Breckles, who trains with Thorold Elite Track Club, has high aspirations.
“Hopefully get to scholarship to a good university, a good D1,” he said.
Zone 4 junior boys individual: 1. Fenway Breckles, Governor Simcoe (17:18.2); 2. Graham Tomori, Eden; 3. Brayden Walker, Sir Winston Churchill; 4. Owen Masterson, Sir Winston Churchill; 5. Matthew Bogusat, Governor Simcoe.
Zone 4 junior boys team: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (3. Brayden Walker; 4. Owen Masterson; 7. Jared Cook; 8. Owen Lewis; 10. Giuseppe Perron); 2. Eden; 3. Grimsby.
Oliver Crowe captured the novice boys title, but it wasn’t easy.
The 14-year-old, Grade 9 student at Governor Simcoe was looking over his shoulder as headed headed into the final hill before a late kick enabled him to pull away from the pack.
“A bit,” he said when asked if he was being pushed. “I was just hoping I wouldn’t fall.”
Crowe, who is a member of the Niagara Olympic Club, said Thursday’s race was more than about just finishing first.
“I was hoping to win but it wasn’t all about that,” he said. “I’m just trying to get to SOSSA (Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association) and OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association).”
Crowe said he was in the pack for about the first kilometre before breaking away in the bush area of the course.
Crowe noted he has been running for a long time but only started on a competitive level the last two years with NOC.
“It’s been good,” he said.
Zone 4 novice boys individual: 1. Oliver Crowe, Governor Simcoe (15:53.0); 2. Noah Read, Sir Winston Churchill; 3. Cash Casey, St. Catharines Collegiate; 4. Oak Haslett, Smithville Christian; 5. Julian Van Hooydonk, Heritage Christian.
Zone 4 novice boys team: 1. Sir Winston (2. Noah Read; 7. Samuel Dellalian; 10. James Lindsey; 13. Emmett Cockerline; 14. Jason Mcknight); 2. Smithville Christian; 3. Grimsby.
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