Sarya Ross wins at Big Rock

Sarya Ross placed first in the senior girls division and led her Mouat team to victory at the Big Rock cross country meet held Thursday at Aldergrove Park.  Despite undergoing a difficult practice on Tuesday, Ross had an even paced run to win with a time of 17:29 over a 4.5-k course that featured a number of steep hills.  Ross was satisfied with her run and feels that she is ready to run well at the forthcoming championship meets.

Two other club athletes that are members of Mouat’s winning team were Callum Pilgrim (4th—18:07) and Alicia Unruh (5th—18:15).   Pilgrim wasn’t entirely satisfied with her run and said she felt uncomfortable during the race while Unruh seems to be rounding into shape for the championship part of the high school season.

Delaney Chapman (Abby Traditional) had a good run and seems to be gaining the strength needed to be successful at cross country placed 19th (19:53).

In the Junior Boys 4.5-k race, Tanner Geary (Sardis) had a good run and placed fourth (16:46).   Tanner, who much refers running track races over the 800 meter distance, was satisfied with his performance and feels he will be ready for the Fraser Valley meet.

Other performances by club members included Kate Sokolowski (Graham) and Erica Johnston (Abbotsford) who came 11th (19:01) and 19th (19:51) respectively in the junior girls 4.5-k run.  In the senior boys race held over a 6.7-k course, Mouat runners Peter Mitchell placed 14th (24:18) and Aiden Bingert 15th (24:30).

Next week will be a busy one for Valley Royal cross country runners as on Wednesday they will compete at the Fraser Valley Championships followed by Saturday’s BC Athletics Club Championship.  Both races take place at Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Park.  

Sokolowski Has Strong Run at Sunfair

Yakima, WA—Oct. 5—The Sunfair High School Cross Country meet is not for the faint of heart. With an excess of 2,500 runners taking part reprenting schools from three states and two provinces each of them contesting one of the more than a dozen races offered on the day long schedule, the mere size and quality of the meet can be overwhelming for many young contestants.

But 15 year old Kate Sokolowski shook off the nerves of running in her first major cross country meet and battled her way to a gold medal in the Junior Varsity women’s 3-mile run. Sokolowski, who represents Chilliwack’s GW Graham Middle School and the Valley Royals track club, took the lead early in the contest and used her diminutive build to good advantage by gaining ground on the upward portion on each of the six steep hills that consume a large portion of the challenging Sunfair course.

Sokolowski completed her run in a time of 19:25 to place well in front of Idaho’s Hanna Orton who finished second and the other 72 girls that took part in this event. After the race Sokolowski was beaming as she put in a call to her parents to let them know the good news.

WJ Mouat runners Sarya Ross and Callum Pilgrim both had quality performances at the meet.  Pilgrim finished second in the Varsity 5 race (19:13) while Ross came up with one of her very best cross country runs ever to take 7th (18:59) in the tough Varsity 6 competition.  

Even though Pilgrim, an all round athlete who splits her time between a number of team sports and running, came on strong in the finishing sprint of her race to just squeeze into second.  Although she was not all that pleased with her run competitor that she is, Pilgrim resolved to be in better form at coming meets.   

Ross, however, was happy that this cross country season is going much better then last year when growing pains hindered her performances.  It was her fastest ever time and on the Sunfair course and she was confident that even better things are to come later this season when the championship high school races get underway

Other notable performances by Valley Royal and Mouat athletes runners included Peter Mitchell’s 19th place (16:54) finish in Varsity Flight five boys’ race and Aidan Bingert who came 18th (17:25) in the Varsity Flight 3 run.   

Full results can be found at:

Siemens & Jorgensen Score For Their Teams

Alex Siemens, a freshman at the University of Idaho and Oliver Jorgensen, a first year student at SFU, have both been impressive at their respective universities.

Siemens has gained strength over the past three weeks and at the present she holds down a scoring position on the Vandal women’s cross country team. It took awhile for Siemens to accustom herself to the added distance of the collegiate competitions and the additional miles she is expected to complete during practices. But after the initial shock of the change from being a high school runner to a collegian, Siemens is making good progress. Two weeks ago at the Sundodger meet held in Seattle, Siemens placed 25th and was the third ranked finisher on the Idaho team.

This coming weekend, Siemens will be in action again when the Vandals travel to Eugene,
Oregon (Oct. 5) where they will compete at the Dellinger Invitational. “I am getting accustomed and gaining confidence with each meet,” stated Siemens.

If Siemens had a challenge in moving up from 4-k competitions to 6-k runs,
then Oliver Jorgensen had even a bigger adjustment to make. University men’s
competitions are held on 8 and 10-k courses that meant that Jorgensen was
competing over distances that are 40 per cent longer then what he was accustomed
to as a high school runner. But the SFU runner is making the adjustment and he is
now one of the leaders on the Clansman cross country team. Last week, Jorgensen
ran in the heat of Southern California and was the first SFU runner to cross the finish
line placing 76 overall. Jorgensen, who had trouble breaking five minutes for 1500
meters as a grade 9 runner, has used patience combined with an outstanding work
ethic and desire to become a very competent runner.

Cross Country Runners Head To Yakima This Weekend

Sue Northey’s group of secondary school aged runners make the annual trek to Yakima, WA this coming Saturday where they will compete at the giant Sunfair meet hosted by Eisenhower High School.

One of the largest and most prestigious cross country meets on the Pacific Coast, the Sunfair attracts between 2,500 and 2,800 secondary school runners from schools in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and BC. The racing begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 3:30 p.m. The Sunfair includes competitions designed for very talented runners but also includes races for beginners to the sport.

Held on a looped grass course that features a number of reasonably steep hills, the Sunfair is always a highlight for the athletes that train under the guidance of Coach Northey.

On A Sad Note: Graham Danzinger’s Father Passes Away

Some sad news was received Monday when it was learned that Richard Danziger, father of coach Graham Danziger, passed away while on vacation in Hawaii. During Graham’s competitive years with the Royals, Richard acted as the club’s secretary and served as a chief organizer at many high level competitions hosted by the Royals. Richard was a Town Planner with the City of Abbotsford but a number of years ago he left our city to take a similar position in Ontario. Our heartfelt feelings are extended to Graham and his family.

Richard’s funeral will be held Tuesday October 8th @ 6:30 pm.  There will be a short memorial service followed by a reception to share memories and stories of his life.  The service will take place at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 2310 Clearbrook Rd. Abbotsford.

If there is anyone who would like to speak and share a story about Richard at the service please let Graham know as soon as possible, via e-mail at [email protected]

Results for Week 1 of the Lafarge Grand Prix are now available.

Please see this page – Week 1 Individual Race Results – for individual race results,

and this page – Week 1 Team Results – for Team results.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to technical difficulties with the timing equipment on the first week, no times should be considered accurate. It was only possible to have approximate times for the first 15 finishers in each race and no times for any finishers beyond that. The missing times do not affect individual scoring, team scoring, or the scoring for the Jane Swan Award. We anticipate we have all our technical issues resolved for the upcoming races.