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.

Jorgensen & Siemens Perform Well at Sundodger Meet…

Jorgensen and Alex Siemens had their inaugural runs as members of university teams on  Saturday (Sept. 14) at the University of Washington hosted Sundodger cross country  meet. Jorgensen, a first year student at Simon Fraser University, placed 34th in the 8-k men’s open race finishing with a time of 25:44. It was an excellent start for Jorgensen who was the second finisher on the Clan team that placed fourth in the competition.

The lead runner for SFU was Cameron Proceviat who was 30th (25:41). One hundred ninety seven runners completed the course.

Alex Siemens, a freshman at the University of Idaho, made her debut as a Vandal by placing 25th in the women’s invitational 6-k competition. Siemens started the run at a conservative pace but gathered strength as the as the race progressed to finish with a time of 22:00. Siemens was the third finisher for Idaho and helped her team to a third place finish behind first place University of Washington and second place Oregon State. “I was pleased with my run and look forward to my next race when our team travels to the University of Oregon on October 5,” said Siemens.

News From Here and There…

Jessica Smith and Helen Crofts have had a successful season competing in various meets around the world.  Smith is currently ranked 2nd in Canada at 800m (2:00.43)
a time she achieved by placing fifth in the final at the FISU Games held in Kazan, Russia.  Smith has one more chance to improve upon her rank as she will travel with the 61 member Canadian team to the Francophone Games being staged next week in Nice, France.

Crofts returned to action this year after missing most of the 2012 season due to injury and made the most of her recovery by establishing a personal best 2:01.35 established in the semi final round of the FISU Games.   It was a rewarding season for Crofts who last May completed her collegiate career with SFU by winning the 800 meters at the NCAA Division 2 Championships.

Alex Siemens had her debut run last Saturday as a member of the Idaho Vandals Cross Country team.  Siemens placed placed 23rd in a field of 106 runners and was the sixth finisher on the Idaho team.   Her time over the 4-k course was 15:11 an almost identical clocking of teammate Abby Larson who placed 24th.  Idaho sophomore Halie Raudenbush won the race in a time of 14:26.

Seventeen eager secondary school aged runners were on hand last Tuesday for the first cross country practice of the year.   Coach Sue Northey put the runners through a brisk workout in the warm afternoon sun and the coach was pleased with the enthusiasm of the team and their response to some demanding work.   The first major meet of the season for this group will take place on Saturday, October 5 when they travel to Yakima, Washington for the giant SunFair meet.  Other priority meets include the BC Athletics Championships at Clearbrook Park (October 25) and the BC High School Championships to be held at Aldergrove Park on November 2.

James Meehan conducted his first junior development practice of the season on Wednesday and 37 boys and girls were on hand.  The group had a warm up run, went through some drills and then did a variety of short runs.  Practices for this age group (9-15) take place at Clearbrook Park on Monday and Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:00 a.m.  All practices take place at Clearbrook Park. 

The first test of the season for the JD group will be the Grand Prix series that kicks off on Wednesday, September 20.  Interested newcomers are welcome.