On Sunday, October 15, 26 athletes from the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track club participated in the Ken Lake Classic Memorial Cross-Country Meet at LaSalle Park in Burlington.
It was a rainy morning in Meaford, but upon arrival to LaSalle Park, the Coyotes were greeted by a double rainbow. It was a picturesque start to a wonderful day of racing. The rain held off but for a few sprinkles, and the athletes showed serious grit as they faced the gruelling racecourse filled with a number of challenging hills.
The races began with the Pewee age group and the team’s youngest competitor of the day, Eleanor Cleland, breezed through the course looking very comfortable. She started the Coyotes day off with a win.
Next up were the Mite races. Coyote girls and boys in this age category all demonstrated a strong finishing kick, leaving everything they had on the course. Madeline Armstrong passed a competitor in the last 10 meters and finished in 4th place, while teammate Bennett Hustwitt pushed hard right to the line in order to narrowly beat a Thorold Elite runner and earn his silver medal.
The Coyotes’ biggest team toed the line next, the Tyke girls. The Coyotes had seven girls competing in this race of over 50 girls and four of them placed in the top 15. First time MTA racer Mila Dolan and veteran Alba Hargreaves put forth very strong performances finishing 9th and 10th respectively. Tyke boys Caleb Cleland and Easton Parrish followed this. Caleb took off hard and then relaxed into a strong pace, gradually picking off racers to work his way up in the pack. He kicked hard at the end, passing one more racer at the finish, putting himself in second place. This was Easton’s first MTA race, and he went out a bit hard at the beginning, but held on with impressive determination, finishing 12th.
It was the Atom racers turn to shine after the Tykes. McKenna Marshall kept her teammate Chloe Burgess on her toes as she nipped at her heels, while first time racer Addison Cox and teammate Estella Mei had a similar rivalry going. In the boys’ race, Ben Barclay took the lead for the Coyotes while his younger teammate Richard Saunders pushed to keep him in his sights. They placed 8th and 10th respectively.
As the Seniors warmed up later in the day, they were strongly lamenting having to climb the biggest hill of the course twice. Kate Earle was seen giving another racer a gentle push up the hill to help her complete the beast and she still placed herself a very respectable 8th place.
To finish the day, Intermediate runner Wes Brown toed the line. He paced himself well and tackled his 4km hilly course with a positive outlook. His efforts earned him a 4th place finish.
There were a lot of proud moments throughout the day and coaches and parents couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts of all our Coyotes. Athletes will now take the next two weeks to focus on preparations for Provincial competitions at the end of the month.
For full race results or to find out more information about the team, please visit their website: www.georgianbaycoyotes.com.