Workouts for 2013 Have Started…

Christmas and the New Year celebration for the year 2012 are now both part of history
but we trust that all Valley Royal members had a great holiday season. It’s now time to get back to basics and that includes gearing up for the coming track and field season.  Individual coaches have been in contact with present members of the club and you are undoubtedly aware of the time and place for winter practices.

We can report that Ziggy’s speed/power group is holding practices from Monday to Thursday at ARC and on Saturday’s at Rotary. Sue Northey’s middle distance group will meet @ ARC on Tuesday (Tuesday, January 8 will be the first practice) and Thursday’s (3:45 p.m.) and Saturday (10:a.m.) at Rotary Stadium. The mid week practices will consist of running outdoors for the first hour and conclude with weight training indoors. Members of Sue’s group are asked to bring a change of shoes for the weight lifting part of the workout.

James Meehan will hold workouts for JD athletes 12 years to 14 years of age at ARC. James has sent out notices to athletes in this age division but if in doubt, give him a phone call or email.

If there are newcomers interested in being a member of one of the above groups, please email head coach Gerry Swan ([email protected]) or contact the individual coaches—all email addresses can be found on the web page.

Ruky Abdulai Expecting in the Spring

Heptathlon athlete, long jumper, sprinter, and wife will soon be able to add the title of mother to her many accomplishments. This coming spring Ruky will give birth to her first child and both mother and father are very excited about the prospect. Congratulations to the happy couple.

Helen Crofts Preparing for Competitive Return

After incurring a serious leg injury that forced her to miss the 2012 track season, Helen Crofts is making progress towards recovery. In 2011 Crofts was ranked third in Canada over 800-meters with a best time of 2:02.12. A scholarship graduate of SFU, Crofts won numerous titles at national collegiate championships and together with teammate, Jessica Smith, she gave the Valley Royals Track Club solid depth in the two-lap event. Welcome back Helen: we definitely are looking forward to your return to competition.

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.

Callum Pilgrim Leads Royals at Sunfair Meet

Yakima, WA, Oct. 7—Valley Royal and WJ Mouat cross country runner
Callum Pilgrim had had an outstanding performance at the Sunfair High School Invitational cross country meet held Saturday in Yakima, Washington.

Pilgrim, an all round athlete who is pursuing cross country running for the first time, placed second in her flight 5-race held over a very hilly three mile course at Lincoln Park. The grade 10 athlete held the lead until the last 400-meters of her race but was eventually passed by Idaho’s Emily Callahan.

Pilgrim’s time of 18:26 was the third best performance of the day amongst the girl’s competitions and the second fastest time ever in the flight five race. Pilgrim stated to her coach that she knew exactly where and why she lost the race but felt that the experience would be valuable to her development as a quality runner.

Alexandra Siemens, who also attends Mouat, ran a strategic race in the flight 7 race and kept pace with the leaders over the first half of the course but during the final kilometer she had some trouble and had to settle for a third place finish.

Peter Mitchell, yet another Mouat runner, had a good performance and
placed third in flight 1 of the boy’s competition. Mitchell, a grade 11 athlete from Mouat and in his first season of cross country running, had a competitive run and finished with a time of 17:49.

Other solid performances for the Royals saw 13-year old Gabrielle MacGregor place ninth in the girls’ junior varsity run, Jennifer Kell (grade 10) came second in flight 2, Ashley Heisler was fifth in flight 1, Erica Johnson was eighth in the girl’s junior varsity run and Delaney Chapman was second in the grade 10 girl’s competition.