Valley Royals at Saturday’s Canadian XC Championships – Smith & Siemens Named to BC Team

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.

Thanks to Everyone Who Took Part in the BC XC Championships

A huge thank-you and congratulations to all Valley Royal volunteers, members of
the BC Officials Committee and City of Abbotsford that turned out to work at and
support the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships.

The weather was inclement to say the least but the meet presentation was excellent. As is usual at Valley Royal meets, the food prepared by and served by Elaine Motion and family was superb and kept all the volunteers well fed—the chili, which we believe Elaine adapted
from a Charlotte Inman recipe, was a perfect match to the weather conditions.

The course was well planned and marked by Course Director Sue Northey and her
volunteer crew that included members of the club executive, parents and athletes. Thanks to Meet Coordinator, April Arsene, who pulled details together. Special thanks
to Cindy Miller for handling the entries and to Twyla Ross who made sure that we
had more than an adequate number of volunteers on hand.

Jason Swan and Shirley Young made certain that the timing and results were handled in the usual expedient manner and Marina Gibson added her expertise to the awards. Catherine Mastine contributed her registered nursing degree and first aid certification expertise to make sure that we had our medical needs covered. As always, John & Carol Cull assembled and administered a group of dependable BC Athletics officials who
braved the weather to lend a valuable assistance to the meet’s success.

We also wish to extend thanks to the City of Abbotsford Recreation department and particularly, Eric Fong, who cut paths over the hills and lent us a variety of equipment. Thanks are also extended to BC Athletics and particularly Maurice Wilson for the guidance
provided. Ocean Athletics, in the persons of Maureen and Ted, contributed much-need equipment for which we thank them for their generous help.

And to our generals, Gary Prince, Doug Heldman and Kim Johnston, who accumulated equipment of all types, including contributions from sponsors and those always ever needed porta-potties, and did yeomen service, our many thanks.

To everyone who helped: it was an outstanding meet made so by the athletes that took
part and ran so well and the many club workers and supporters who contributed so

Six Valley Royals Head to Prince George for BC HS XC Championships

Six Valley Royal athletes left for far off Prince George on Thursday (November 1) to
take part in the BC High School Cross Country Championships. Three of the athletes,
Callum Pilgrim, Alexandra Siemens and Sarya Ross, will be competing for Mouat
Secondary school’s female team that is a contender for the team championships in
the Northern City. This will be the last high school cross country competition for
Siemens as she is now in grade 12. Siemens, who won the high school individual
title three years ago in White Rock, has an excellent article concerning her by
Province Newspaper school reporter Howard Tsumura in this morning’s paper—it
can be found at: (

Other Royals making the trip include Jennifer Kell (Hatzic) and Mouat runners
Aidan Bingert, Peter Mitchell & Arsh Ghanda.

Have a good run gang.