Five Valley Royal athletes will brave what is expected to be wet and muddy conditions for this Saturday’s Canadian Cross Country Championships scheduled for Vancouver’s Jericho Beach Park.
Heading the club list of entrants are BC team members Jessica Smith and Alex Siemens. Smith has been named to the provincial team taking part in the 7-k senior women’s race while Siemens has been named to the BC junior women’s team competing over a 5-k course. Although Smith is much better known as an 800-meter runner (this past summer Jessica was a semi finalist in the 800m at the London Olympics) she enjoys the challenge of cross country running and feels that the rigors of the sport aids her endurance.
Callum Pilgrim, Jennifer Kell and Sarya Ross will join Siemens for the junior women’s competition with the four of them comprising a club team for scoring purposes. Four other Royals (Peter Mitchell, Oliver Jorgensen, Aiden Bingert and Erica Johnson) will take part in the community race that is being held in conjunction with the championships. This will be the first competition for Jorgensen since breaking his foot in late September, an injury he incurred by turning his ankle during a training run.
Valley Royal coach James Meehan has decided that he is ready for some competition and has entered the Master’s division of the championships. “I don’t expect to be leading the field by any mens but the race will certainly help me sympathize with the pain that my athletes endure when taking part in this sport,” stated Coach James.
After the heavy rain conditions that the lower mainland has been subject to for the past few weeks, it’s expected that the Jericho course will become progressively muddy as the day progresses. However, the present forecast suggests that Saturday may see only light rain showers and that could be a blessing.