Close call in senior boys race; Cino cruises to women’s title
Rian Wilson missed out on a gold medal in the senior boys division at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association cross country meet Thursday at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls for a bizarre reason.
The 16-year-old, Grade 11 student at Sir Winston Churchill was neck and neck with Dundas Valley’s Iain Thompson as they sprinted toward the finish line when the two competitors decided to attempt to cross at the exact same time.
“The main goal was to tie for first,” Wilson said. “Coming around the last 500 we just tried for a fast time and stay safe so we both could get our team good points.
“We were going fast, just Iain and I. We thought we each burn each other out and risk falling or just dying out. We’re both about the team so I thought I would just hang with him and tie for first.”
Unfortunately, Thompson finished first in a time of 20:18.3, just ahead of Wilson at 20:18.6.
“I thought we crossed at the exact same time,” Wilson said. “It looked like I got second. We did a handshake before. It was all good sportsmanship and thinking we both deserve this.”
Wilson wasn’t blaming Thompson, but did sound regretful.
“It was a mistake,” he said. “I kind of let my team down a bit. I really wanted to win. I think I could have won. I never thought about second place. I never thought I might be the one who comes through that line second.”
Wilson, who missed last year’s race with an injury, said the cool, clear weather was perfect for racing.
“I really liked these conditions. It was a fast race run from the gun. It was a blazing fast race.”
The Bulldogs placed second overall to Dundas Valley in the team standings and advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships Nov. 5 at the Dagmar Ski Resort in Uxbridge.
“I’m very eager (for OFSAA),” Wilson said. “I just want my team to win at OFSAA. Individually, I don’t think I’m in shape to get at OFSAA gold — you never know — but our goal is to help each other and working with my teammates and team to get OFSAA gold that the main goal. That’s all I’m really looking for from the cross country season.”
SENIOR GIRLS DIVISION
Another race, another gold for Sophia Cino.
The 15-year-old, Grade 11 student at Blessed Trinity, who captured the overall senior girls championship last week at the Zone 3/4 meet, duplicated that feat with another first place finish Thursday at SOSSA.
“I’m pretty proud of myself,” she said. “I have an amazing team that I work with. It’s been really fun. It’s been great.”
Cino placed first in a time of 23:22.4, well ahead of Kristina Etezadi of A.N. Myer, who placed second in a time of 23:52.4.
“I was pretty tired,” she said. “I was trying to run by best race. There are a lot of really good girls and good competition here so I was just trying to trying to stay with that lead pack and see what I could do.
“It is a big bump up (from zone). There’s a lot of girls in this race so definitely a lot more competition.”
Cino said she made her move late in the race.
“I think I was leading maybe the last kilometre, that was the only time I was in the lead,” she said. “Coming out of the forest I was feeling good and I saw my coach there and thought I would go for it there.”
Cino is looking forward to OFSAA.
“I’m very excited. I can’t wait,” she said. “I’m just going to go and do the best I can. Obviously, OFSAA is huge, all of Ontario. I know there’s going to be a lot of good girls there so I’ll go and do my best and whatever happens, happens.”
The top two teams and the top five individuals not on teams advanced to the OFSAA championships Nov. 5 at the Dagmar Ski Resort in Uxbridge.
Senior boys individual (locals in top five and locals who qualified for OFSAA): 2. Rian Wilson, Sir Winston Churchill; 3, Fenway Breckel, Governor Simcoe; 4. Kaden Shaw, A.N. Myer; 8. Samuel Tonnies, Port Colborne HS.
Senior boys team: 2. Sir Winston Churchill (Wilson, Marco DeFelice, Redding Maxwell, Nate Smyth, Walker Rollo, Matt Taubeneck).
Senior girls individuals (locals in top five and locals who qualified for OFSAA): 1. Sophia Cino, Blessed Trinity (23:22.4); 2. Kristina Etezadi, A.N. Myer; 4. Chloe DiLalla, Eden.
Senior girls team: 2. Eden (Dilalla, Emma Esau, Annika Rigby, Claire Moran, Elise Rigby).
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