Mackenzie, Valour advancing to Nordic provincials
Mackenzie Community School dominated the trails Wednesday during the Eastern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (EOSSAA) Nordic Ski Championships.
Skiers from high schools across the region enjoyed warm temperatures and the occasional dusting of snow as they made their way around the challenging Forest Lea ski trails. The top school team in each division qualify for the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) Championships.
Advancing to the provincials, which will be held in Collingwood on Feb. 25, are Mackenzie, and Valour. In addition, the top six individual skiers not on either of those school teams also may compete at OFSAA. The EOSSAA race also included competitors from Fellowes High School, Bishop Smith Catholic High School, L'Ecole Equinoxe, Renfrew Collegiate Institute (RCI), Madawaska Valley District High School, Almonte District High School, Kingston Collegiate Vocational Institute (KCVI), Plantagenet Public School and La Citadelle.
In the senior boys 8.5 km race, Mackenzie placed first overall with 22 points, followed by Valour in second with 48 points. Representing Mackenzie were Max Guerout, Bradley Audet, Mark Gharghouri, David Klukas, Connon Lee, Deyang Li, and Devin Lapping.
Individually in the event, Thomas Csisztu, from Jeanne Lajoie, placed first with a time of 29 minutes, seven seconds, followed by Mackenzie's Max Guerout in second place, 32 seconds later. Jonathan Stoppa, of Madawaska Valley, finished third in a time of 31:54. Qualifying for EOSSAA as well were RCI's John Pettigrew, who took fourth place, Valour's Nathan Frampton, who came in sixth, and Robert Craig, of La Citadelle, who finished in 10th.
In the senior girls, Mackenzie took first and second place with 22 and 43 points respectively. Representing the Mackenzie teams were Amy Cheng, Anna Katsaras, Brinna Fitzpatrick, Ester Wilson, Kyra Hagerty, Emily Elliott, Evaline Harmsen and Grace Gaffney. Heidi Scott, from KCVI, took the senior girls 6.5-kilometre in 23:38, followed by Almonte's Gilliam Bentley, who grabbed second in 27:27 and Hilary McCann, also from Almonte, taking third in 27:38.
Mackenzie also swept the junior boys 6.5-kilometre with 20 points. Representing the team were Will Steer, Kody Sullivan, Dominic Klukas, Daniel Fritzsche, James Dillenbeck, Evan Menard and Tanay Patel. Steer captured first place in a time of 20:46. He was followed by Equinoxe's Thomas Pelchat, in second with a time of 22:19, and third place Jonathon Frampton, from Valour, with a time of 22:40. Qualifying individually were Fellowes' Jack Moryto, in fifth place, Jeanne Lajoie's Adam Saal, in sixth, Valour's Henry Thomas, in ninth, and Jeanne Lajoie's Neil Jennings, in 10th.
Valour won the junior girls four-kilometre with 21 points, followed by Mackenzie, with 30 points, and Jeanne Lajoie, with 38 points. Qualifying on the Valour squad were Sophie Warren, Fiona Thomas, Catherine Bell, Keely Patrick and Leslie Wilkinson. Almonte' s Caitlyn Stowe took first place with a time of 17:13. She was followed Warren in second place with a time of 17:37 and Mackenzie's Bridget Chiasson in third with a time of 18:35.