Thorold Elite runners reach provincial podium
Two members of the Thorold Elite Track Club raced their way on to the podium at the Athletics Ontario Cross Country Championships held Nov. 13 in Kingston.
Alexandra Nickel placed second in the under-20 women’s eight-kilometre race and Deagan Hallett finished with a bronze medal in the under-14 boys two-kilometre race.
Nickel’s performance resulted in her being selected to represent Team Ontario at the upcoming Canadian Cross Country Championships in Ottawa on Nov. 26.
“Alex’s season hasn’t been what we wanted after a rogue crab apple wrecked some havoc early on, but we are happy that she was able to get in an 8K and achieve the goal she wanted which was running under 32 minutes,” Thorold Elite coach Steven Fife said. “It’s another great story of perseverance and determination.”
Hallett’s bronze is the continuation of a strong fall season for the 12 year-old Oakridge student. He won all three of his elementary school races and finished as the District School Board of Niagara champion in the Grade 7 boys three-kilometre race. He also competed up as a senior at the Minor Track Association of Ontario cross country championships, winning an individual bronze medal against boys up to two years older and helping to secure silver medals for Thorold Elite’s senior boys team consisting of Hallett, Evan Blake, Sean Lawson, and Jackson Tonnies.
Hallett’s individual Athletics Ontario bronze medal in the under-14 two-kilometre was a close three-way battle with the gold, silver, and bronze medalists separated by less than 0.75 seconds.
Fife is impressed by the grit and determination that Hallett shows in every race.
“He’s a team player and if I had said that we needed him to race up again and run the 4k with our U16 boys, he would have done it even though he’s never raced a 4K and even if it meant he might not do as well individually, but he would do it for the team,” he said. “He’s also the guy that stays at the finish line and congratulates and high fives every other runner as they finish no matter what place they get, which says a lot about his character.”
Other local athletes with top 10 placements at the provincial championships were: Sophia Cino of Runners’ Edge, sixth in under-18 girls six-kilometre race; Aszlyn Weaver of Thorold Elite, sixth in under-10 girls 1,000-metre; and Adam Kleinsmith of Thorold Elite, eighth in the under-20 men’s eight-kilometre race.
Cino has also been named to Team Ontario for the under-18 girls team.
Next up is the Athletics Canada Cross Country Championships this weekend in Ottawa.