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VIDEO: Excitement runs rampant at huge cross-country event

'It felt good. It was exciting because I didn't expect to win,' says Grade 5 Coldwater student who was among more than 1,000 cross-country runners at today's event

The Simcoe East Area Cross Country Running Meet brought more than 1,000 local student athletes to Mount St. Louis Moonstone today.

Students in grades four to eight were competing for the opportunity to advance to the county championships next Wednesday.

Erika Franz, a convener for the races and a Grade 8 teacher at Coldwater Public School, says the event is "very important" for the students.

"They look forward to it," she said. "It's great to have them here and they are all very motivated and excited."

In preparation for the event, students train with their cross country running coaches at each school three to four times a week.

"They do hill training, sprint training, and different types of training throughout the weeks as well," she said.

On the day of the competition, Franz says there is a special atmosphere at the Oro-Medonte ski hill.

"It is high energy and lots of excitement," she said. "Coaches, parents, and definitely racers love the day."

Most racers had parents, grandparents, and friends at the race today to cheer them on.

"It's a community-wide thing," Franz said. "There is definitely a lot of interest."  

The cross country running meet gets the school year started on a positive note for students, Franz says.

"It allows them to become a part of a team," she said. "It's not something they have to try out for, it's open to everybody who is interested."

Isabel Ryther, a Coldwater Public School student, won the Grade 5 girls' race on Wednesday.

"It was a hard course to run on today," she said. "It was wet and a lot of uphill running."

Ryther, who trained for the race for two weeks, said winning was a big achievement for her.

"It felt good," she said. "It was exciting because I didn't expect to win."

Brady Bell, a Marchmont Public School student, won the Grade 5 boys' race.

"I was slipping a little with all the mud," he said. "I just kept on pushing."

Bell trained four times a week all summer long for the big race.

"I knew this would be a really good moment for me because I put in all of the work," he said. "I didn't really expect that I would win, but I was hoping to do well."


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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