Congratulations to our Junior and Middle School Cross-Country team for the big success at the ACSI Cross Country tournament on October 17! There is so much to be thankful for, including teachers and parents who support and stand by our team under all circumstances, and of course, students who demonstrated perseverance, strength and endurance in finishing the race under windy and freezing weather!
PCA brought home:
– 3 individual medals (1 silver and 2 bronze)
– 4 banners (Bantem, Junior, Senior, Overall “A” division)
– and the overall trophy for the 2nd year in a row!
Photo credits: Mrs. Ng
Here is the perfect recap written by our Cross Country coach, Mr. Westacott:
Student- “Why did you pick TODAY for Cross Country?”
Mr. Westacott- “I didn’t, the organizers did.”
Student- “Why did THE ORGANIZERS pick TODAY for Cross Country? It’s so COLD!”
Mr. Westacott- “They picked this date in October, they didn’t know it would be this cold.”
Student- “But WHY is it so cold?”
Mr. Westacott- “You need to ask God that question. I’m sorry that today is this cold; but don’t worry it will still be a fun day.”
The outlook of PCA students was bleak when we arrived at Dagmar Ski Resort for the 2019 ACSI Cross Country meet. It was cold, and wet, and windy too; definitely not the type of day you would pick to have if you had a choice, but the reality was that we had no choice and had to endure the weather and run our best regardless of how poor the conditions seemed to be. A veteran Phys. Ed teacher of a competing school noted it was one of the worst days he had seen in over 25 years
of coming to the event; that comment didn’t help to deter the
consistent questions that came from our students about how they could possibly survive the day.
Nonetheless, part of teaching Physical Education successfully is being able to motivate our kids to do their best; and a little drizzle wasn’t going to be enough to stop that. Going into the day Mrs. Aspinall our grade 6-8 teacher was unsure of how well our Eagles would do that day, but I had an inkling that we would be returning to school with the same Trophy we had left with that morning.
As the morning went on and every student walked the courses they would be running later on, the weather improved slightly, the rain subsided, but the conditions weren’t ideal. Slippy grass and patches of mud made going up and down hills hard enough when we walked the trails, I can attest that my legs hurt for two days following, it must have been even harder for our runners trying to navigate the trails at full speed. By mid-morning, the competitions were ready to begin, and the cold certainly wasn’t going to stop our boys and girls from doing
The day opened up with grade three and four girls running a 1KM race, and then followed up by the boys of the same age next. It’s remarkable to see how quickly the first few runners come around the bend only 5 or 6 minutes after beginning. Our girls did very well both individually and as a team. Alexandra, Charlotte, and Robyn all finished in the top 25 for PCA and as a team, our girls finished Third Overall. The boys followed with an equally strong performance with seven of our boys in the top 25. William and Elijah in the top 10, Ryan, Caleb, Collin, Tobias and Jordan all finished soon after them.
With many boys finishing quickly they finished Second Overall in their division, meaning our Juniors had a high likelihood of the Top prize in that age bracket.
Up next were our Grade five and six girls. Some had lamented in the walkthrough that the 2KM was too long to walk, and that the run would be impossible to succeed. But of course, these are always the students who are unsure of themselves and are bound to out-perform their expectations. I, however, was not shocked by how well these girls finished Claire, Joanna and Stefania all finished between 6th and 10th, and Jovita snuck into the top 25. With so many early finishers
they equaled their younger teammates and also finished in Third Overall as a team. That’s not too bad when they felt they couldn’t even finish the walk earlier that morning. The boys followed them and were inspired to do just as well, if not better and they did not disappoint. There were a number of blue shirts clumped together at the finish line. Isaac finished in 3rd for the second year in a row, with Joshua and Ryley just behind him in 5th and 6th. A few moments later Jadon rounded out the top four in 22nd. This team also matched the
grade 3/4 boys with a Second Place finish, meaning that they too had a chance at the top spot in the Bantam age group.
By early afternoon we were thrilled as teachers and parents to see how well our students had done, and even more optimistic considering our Senior students, the grade sevens and eights, were our strongest groups of the day. After many years of experience, they were ready to repeat strong effort last year where they won First Place overall.
They were rather confident that the 3KM race wouldn’t be too difficult as these grades had been routinely running extra laps this year in Gym class. The Middle School classes are competing to see which class can run the most laps combined, so 3KM, or 9 laps around the PCA property
wasn’t too daunting for those who were competing at Cross.
In 2018, the grade seven girls, now eights, had almost all finished in the top 20; I was not shocked this year when the same thing happened once again. After leading for almost the entire race, Carissa finished in 2nd place, followed by Marley in 6th, and once more there was a sea of blue to follow with Kirsten, Amelia, Claire, Phoebe and Anke all finishing one after another in the top 20. With so many top finishes these girls tallied a Second overall finish. In the next and final race was our oldest boys. Samuel finished without yet another
top ten finish at his final cross country event in 3rd overall and he was followed closely by Shane in 6th, then Deron and Nicholas in the top twenty and soon after Andrew, Ethan and Nathan finished in the top 30. This team held the best PCA total for the day and ended in First.
After all the races, it was clear that we had had a successful even and that a top 3 finish was imminent. While the final numbers were being tallied we top a team photo, however, we found out soon that these shots would have no use. At the final Award Assembly, I was overwhelmed by the number of ribbons I received for all of our students which all six of our teams being awarded. It got to the point where I couldn’t even step off the stage by the time the Banners were handed out.
“Junior champions…. PCA; and in first for the Bantams…. Peoples; and the number one team in our Senior Division, yet again…. PEOPLES!” Our students continued to cheer as one by one the Banners were ours, meaning that logically the Trophy was headed back to Renfrew Drive for
After getting all of the students on the bus, we realized that our team photo had missed our Banners and Trophy, and we ran out of the bus to retake a more victorious version to commemorate our winnings.
It was at that moment we realized that while the day itself was dark, wet and gloomy, our students shone brightly as they flew above the opposition leading the Eagles to victory.