Running is as much a mental trait as a physical one for a young Stratford Elementary School student.
“My dad tells me to focus on something else when I run and this mindset keeps me moving forward,” Emily Lutley said after completing the novice girls’ race Saturday afternoon for the P.E.I. Athletic Association (PEISAA) cross-country championships held in Mill River.
Students from Grades 3 to 9 across the province laced up their running shoes for one of the biggest events on the PEISAA calendar.
Trish Walsh was among the thousands that flocked to the park to cheer on the runners.
“This is something Rowan, my son, and his siblings have all participated in. Running is just a great, fun sport to do as an individual. My kids train at school every other day, and while Rowan is nervous to be with such a large group of runners, he is very excited to participate in this cross-country event,” she said.
The long-running event, sponsored by Source For Sports, included 52 schools from across the province.
“This event has been going on since I’ve been teaching, which is 36 years, so it’s been running before me,” PEISAA cross-country commissioner Paul Goguen said Saturday. “We have hosted the cross-country event at the park for 18 straight years. And today, we have around 65 volunteers out on the trails helping each race category run like clockwork.”
Trails through a changing palette of deciduous trees, varied in length for each age category.
“I think it’s great these kids are outside and active,” said Dawn Nelson, who watched her two sons Denver and Cale gather at the start line for the novice boys’ race.
“They practised hard to get to this point and I’m proud of them. This is Denver’s fourth time competing in this event and the second time for Cale. They are pushing themselves and it’s good to be healthy and outside instead of dormant behind phones or computer screens,” Nelson added.
The Mill River championship showcased the pre-novice to intermediate categories.
Race participant Denver Nelson said, “It’s a little scary being surrounded by so many kids but the cold will help me run faster.”
Top-10 finishers in each event Saturday at the P.E.I. School Athletic Association provincial championships:
Pre-Novice Girls – 1. Sydney Clark, Parkdale Elementary; 2. Brooklyn Clarke, Parkdale Elementary; 3. Jenna MacKinnon, Elm Street Elementary; 4. Raina Fitzpatrick, Lucy Maud Montgomery; 5. Brooke Vessey, Lucy Maud Montgomery; 6. Ellie Vessey, Lucy Maud Montgomery; 7. Sophie Chandler, Sherwood Elementary; 8. Brielle Tremere, Lucy Maud Montgomery; 9. Emma Hardy, Ellerslie Elementary; 10. Stella Myers, Donagh.
Pre-Novice Boys – 1. Thomas Morgan, Bloomfield Elementary; 2. Brady Allison, Elm Street Elementary; 3. Ty Murnaghan, Lucy Maud Montgomery; 4. Tobin MacEwen, Queen Elizabeth Elementary; 5. Grayson MacAdam, Westwood Elementary; 6. Sean Dwyer, Ecole Francois Buote, 7. Quinn MacDonald, West Royalty Elementary; 8. Luke Younker, Spring Park Elementary; 9. Connor Hudson, Alberton Elementary; 10. Ibrahim Peters, Eliot River Elementary.
Novice Girls – 1. Alex Newsom, Stratford Elementary; 2. Emily Lutley, Stratford Elementary; 3. Joelle Bader, Ecole Francois Buote; 4. Paige MacDonald, Stratford Elementary; 5. Maria MacKinnon, Georgetown Consolidated; 6. Charleigh MacDougall, Stratford Elementary; 7. Mya Benoit, Greenfield Elementary; 8. Hannah Peters, Queen Elizabeth Elementary; 9. Alivia Arsenault, Greenfield Elementary; 10. Allie Campbell, Spring Park Elementary.
Novice Boys – 1. Christian Cameron, Elm Street Elementary; 2. Nathan Clinton, Morell Consolidated; 3. Zach Clinton, Morell Consolidated; 4. Jared Kenny, Tignish Elementary; 5. Thomas MacPhee, Souris Regional; 6. Justus Tuplin, Ellerslie Elementary; 7. York Bystryk, West Kent Elementary; 8. Ethan Arsenault, Greenfield Elementary; 9. Noah Wyand, West Royalty Elementary; 10. Derek Andrews, Central Queens.
Intermediate Girls – 1. Brooke Walsh, Birchwood; 2. Harlie Perry, M.E. Callaghan; 3. Bella Doyle, Birchwood; 4. Bailey Burke, Stonepark; 5. Claudia McCardle, Queen Charlotte; 6. Emma Quigley, Gulf Shore Elementary; 7. Lily MacLeod, East Wiltshire; 8. Erin Rennie, Hernewood; 9. Maria Redmond, Stonepark; 10. Ella MacDougall, Birchwood.
Intermediate Boys – 1. Colby Munroe, East Wiltshire; 2. Alex Rogers, Queen Charlotte; 3. Juan Bladeras, Grace Christian; 4. Jordan Gough, Hernewood Intermediate; 5. Sam LeClair, East Wiltshire; 6. Noah Farrell, Ecole Sur Mer; 7. Luke MacKenzie, Birchwood; 8. Simon MacGonnell, Grace Christian; 9. John Peter Vanderstod, home schooled; 10. Brent Arsenault, Evangeline.
Bantam Girls – 1. Lucy Francis, Evangeline; 2. Madison Brown, Summerside Intermediate; 3. Savannah Perry, Hernewood; 4. Bree McAlduff, Summerside Intermediate; 5. Jane Bruce, Immanuel Christian; 6. Annie-Pier Morency, Evangeline; 7. Mya Chaudhary, Birchwood; 8. Lilly MacIvar, Birchwood; 9. Abby Larkin, Stonepark; 10. Sarah Lewis, East Wiltshire.
Bantam Boys – 1. Yasu Hojo, Queen Charlotte; 2. Ben Wohlgemut, Stonepark; 3. Kaleb Vos, East Wiltshire; 4. Alex Nicholson, Queen Charlotte; 5. Jonah Bowie, Queen Charlotte; 6. Isaac Arsenault, Summerside Intermediate; 7. Leo Phalen, Birchwood; 8. Carson MacKenzie, Souris Regional; 9. Desmond Cunniffe, Grace Christian; 10. Xavier Diraberger, Queen Charlotte.
For information on race results, visit http://www.peisaa.pe.ca.